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hrough he 
urf moke 



eumas acManus 




I 



Through the Turf Smoke 





Through 




the Turf Smoke 




THE LOVE, LORE, AND LAUGHTER, 
OF OLD IRELAND 




BY 

SEUMAS MAC MANUS 

("MAC") 

AUTHOR OF M 'TWAS IN DHROLL DONEGAL, 
" THE LEADIN' ROAD TO DONEGAL," ETC. 








NEW YORK. 
I8 99 





Copyright, 1899, by 
DOUBLEDAY & McCLURE CO, 



To 

ETHNA CARBERY 

Your fond heart throbbed for our country' 's 
story, 

Your great heart glowed for our 

country's glory: 
Because it was so, O Banbhds 

daughter, 
My tribute take o'er the 

far, far, water. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/throughturfsmoke01macm 



Contents 



Page 

The Leadin' Road to Donegal 1 

The Boyne Water 21 

The Quad-dhroop-eds 45 

The Prince of Wales' Own Donegal Militia 65 
Barney Roddy's Penance .... 89 
Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg . . . .113 

Billy Baxter 141 

The Counsellor 167 

The Masther and the Bocca Fadh . . 189 
Father Dan and Fiddlers Four . . . 211 
Jack Who was the Ashypet .... 231 
Jack and the Lord High Mayor . . .251 



To My American Readers: 

Tkagedy and pathos go leor there are in 
our lives, toilsome struggle and patient suf- 
fering; but when we gather around the turf 
fire — old and young, boys and girls — Care 
slips like a cloak from our shoulders, the 
oldest is for the hour a child, gaiety crowds 
the cabin, and merriment fills all hearts. 
The wand of wit is laid upon us: the joke, 
the banter, and the merry story, pass; and 
the folk-tale, old as the babble of our 
streams, and still as fresh and sweet, is lis- 
tened to by ears that hearken for the hun- 
dredth time as fondly as they did for the 
first. Alike, grey old pows and yellow little 
curly locks shake in sympathy for the sor- 
rows of the hero, and wag with delight for 
his devilment and drollery. The same hearts 
that rang out a little peal of childish laugh- 
ter beneath a smoke-blacked Irish roof-tree, 
have, . afterwards, on red fields, often raised 



X 



Introduction 



a rann that fluttered the folds of the defiant 
and triumphant Stripes and Stars. 

In my remote and mountain-barred Done- 
gal, the people, for a niggard living, strive 
with a surly sea and wrestle with a stubborn 
soil; they are poor as paupers and hospitable 
as millionaires. But the wit, the imagina- 
tion, the poetry, the virtues, the soul, of the 
most miserable amongst them the wealth of 
Croesus couldn't purchase. Civilization (with 
its good and its ills) has not yet quite felt 
itself at home amongst us; books are few; 
so, there, the shanachy, the teller of tales 
and the singer of songs, still gathers in his 
old time glory; on long winter nights the 
world comes and seats itself, spell-bound, at 
his feet. From early childhood I, with my 
little tribute of admiration, sat by his feet. 
The glory of him dazzled me, and I dreamt 
of one day faring forth and conquering 
worlds for myself. 

— I was a child, I said, and dreamt dreams. 

Mac. 

New York, Oichdhe Brighde, 1899. 



The Leadin' Road to Donegal 



The Leadin' Road to Donegal* 



'Twas this was the way — 

Thady Eooney was a tailyer be trade, and 
Molly Maguire was as purty a hand at the 
spinnin' wheel as ye'd meet in the five par- 
ishes. Thady was a clane, stout, sthrappin', 
fine, ecktive fellow, and as daicent as his 
father afore him — and that's sayin' a dale 
for him. Molly was a brave, sonsy, likely 
lassy, that knew how to get the blind side of 
the boys, and as clane-stepped a gissach as 
thripped to Mass on a Sunday. Now, Thady 
was on the lookout for a bit of a naybour's 
daughter that would be shootable to take 
care of him; and Molly — well, throgs, Molly 
had no sort of objections to takin' care of 
a naybour's son, purvided she got one to her 
likin'. So, as might be expected, Thady 

* The skeleton of this tale is traditional, and to be 
met -with in many parts of the North of Ireland, 
applied to various towns. 



4 Through the Turf Smoke 

yocked* and he put his comether on Molly, 
and Molly, she blarneyed Thady to his 
heart's content, till the end of it was — as was 
nath'ral — they both marrid an' settled down, 
to stick to one another for betther or worse, 
through fair an' through foul. An' Thady, 
who was as industhrus a man as ivir laid 
down his two hands, set to work, an' he built 
as tight an' snug a bit of a cabin as ye'd may- 
be ax to see, jist on a bit of waste ground 
at a cross-roads where five roads met, and 
himself and Molly moved intil it; an' Thady 
went on with his tailyerin', and Molly with 
her spinnin', and him whistlin' and her sing- 
in' — with wee inthervals of love-makin' — as 
merry as the larks and as happy as the day 
was long. And for nearly twelve months 
that pair was held up as a moral for the 
counthry for miles about, and it was a de- 
light to pass by their door and listen to their 
light-heartedness. In all that time an awk- 
? ard word nivir crossed the lips of the one or 
the other of them. But, as ill-luck would 
have it, the divil — for it was no other — 
tempted them to agree one night that they 
* Began. 



The Leadin Road to Donegal 5 



could do worse nor buy a slip of a pig. 
Which of them was so misfortunate as to in- 
therduce the subject I can't tell, but anyhow 
the bit of a sucker pig was bought and 
fetched home, an' a snug wee bed of nice, 
clane, oat sthraw Molly spread for it in the 
one corner in the tother end of the house 1 
from their own bed. And that night Thady 
had a bad dhraim. He dhraimt that the 
goose an' the lap-boord, afther doin' a couple 
of very lively hornpipes an' a single reel on 
the floor, sat down an the bed to make love, 
plantin' themselves right atop of his stom- 
ach. And with that he wakened up, and be 
the powdhers of war, what does he find lyin' 
across him on the bed but the sucker pig! 

"Husthee! husthee! " says Thady, givin' 
the pig a couple of smart slaps that sent it 
skurryin' an' gruntin' away to its own corner 
again. 

" Molly," says Thady, " I seen pigs in me 
day with more modesty than that wee pig of 
ours." 

" Arrah, Thady," says Molly, says she, 
" sure what great wit could ye be afther ex- 
pectin' of the lakes of it, the crathur? Sure, 



6 Through the Turf Smoke 



it's what it felt lonely, jist lake a Christian 
would, an' hearin' you snorin' as ye know 
ye do, Thady, in yer sleep, the crathur come 
up to ye, thinkin' it was maybe its mother 
was in it." 

"Well, I'm sure, Molly," says Thady, 
" that I feel ondher a mighty great favour 
to it intirely for the compliment it done me; 
but all the same, mother or no mother, I'd 
thank it to keep its distance, and know its 
place for the time to come." 

Well, that fared well till the nixt night 
wore round, an' Thady had the very self- 
same oncommon, wondherful dhraim about 
the lap-boord and the goose; and wakenin' 
up lake the night afore, there was me brave 
sucker pig settlin' himself for a sleep atop 
of Thady, as much at home as an alderman 
in an aisy-chair! 

"Husthee! husthee! Molly Maguire, I'm 
sorry to say that sucker pig of yours has 
very small manners." 

"Arrah, Thady Rooney," says Molly, 
a can't ye not be reflectin' on the bit of an 
orphan pig, that isn't come to the time of 
day to have sinse? Maybe, Thady avour- 



The Leadin' Road to Donegal 7 

neen, whin ye were lake it yerself, ye might 
put yer manners in yer weskit pocket, and 
no one miss them much." 

" No odds for that, Molly Maguire," says 
Thady. "Ye mind the ould copy-book 
headline that said, ' Too much familiarity 
breeds contimpt,' and I considher that 
sucker pig is pushin' his familiarity on me 
rather farther than I wish for. I put cor- 
rackshin on him on'y last night for the same 
dhirty action, and I thought it was a lesson 
to him, but it saims he can't take a hint 
onless ye impress it on him, with a stout 
stick; an' throth, Molly, an' Fm tellin' 
it to ye now, if I have to dhraw me 
hand over him again, he'll know what it's 
for." 

" Faith, Thady Rooney," says Molly, u it's 
well it becomes ye to talk that way of the 
poor baste that didn't know, no more than 
that bed-post there, what ye were layin' the 
corrackshin on it for. If the crathur only 
gets time it'll gather sense yet." 

" That's all very good, Molly," says Thady, 
" but if I don't corrackt it I'm sure you'W 
not, and a nice pig we'll make of it then, 



8 Through the Turf Smoke 

won't we, without breedin' or daicency; it'll 
scandalise us over the parish, that's what it'll 
do. If it has a mind to pick up sense it had 
betther be quick about it, or my patience 'ill 
wear out, and I'll be tempted to do somethin' 
that 'ill make it regret it didn't pick itself 
up in time." 

Well, as they say in the stories, that fared 
well that night again, and it didn't fare ill, 
and the nixt night wore round. And me 
bould Thady dhraimt the very same dhraim 
that third night again, and he bounced 
up in the bed, tumblin' the pig off ontil 
the floor, and it run away gruntin' to its 
corner. 

" Great Goghendies! but it's me's the suf- 
f erin' man," says Thady. " Molly Maguire," 
says he, "get up and put breedin' on yer 

pig!" 

"Nobbut, Thady Eooney," says Molly, 
"get you up and put breedin' on your own 
pig!" 

"Ye lie!" says Thady. 

"Thanky, Misther Rooney," says Molly, 
"it's only a well-wisher would tell me my 
faults." 



The Leadin' Road to Donegal 9 



" The pig's none of mine, or he'd know 
betther," says Thady. 

" The pig is yours, and so signs on him, 
he's as conthrairy as his masther," says 
Molly. 

" Throth, then, if I'm conthrairy," says 
Thady, " I could blow me breath on them 
smit me." 

" Maybe, then, that same wouldn't be cov- 
eted, for it was the ill day for some people 
when yer onlucky breath come about them 
first." 

u I wish to the Lord them people had 
thought that twelve months ago! If they 
had, I could have been a happy man this 
night, an' own for a wife the pick of the 
parish, instead of bein' the miserable divil 
I am, with the ugly, good-for-nothin' 
cross-grained spitfire of a woman that the 
priest makes me call me own now," says 
Thady. 

" Well, Thady Eooney, i" wish to the Lord 
the same!" says Molly. "An' as regards 
yer bein' a miserable divil, I agree with ye 
there, too. No one ivir accused Thady 
Eooney, or one belonging to him, of bein' 



io Through the Turf Smoke 

anything else all their lives but miserable 
divils — an' miserable, lazy divils, too. About 
the pick of the parish — ye got that — ivery 
one give in ye got that — and sure it was the 
nine days' wondher how such a miserable, 
spavined, ill-formed, yallow rickle of skin 
and bone, with a countenance as forbiddin' 
as ould Nick's himself, with a hump on his 
back and a halt in his step, and his two eyes 
watchin' each other like murdher across his 
snub nose, for fear one of them would be 
afther takin' the advantage of the other — 
sure I say it was the nine days' wondher what 
the dickens she could see in ye that made her 
take ye, barrin' it was bekase she knew ye 
would be so safe on her hands that no one 
but the divil would think of runnin' away 
with ye, and even him atself would be only 
too glad to fetch ye back as not worth yer 
room. And throth, I may tell ye, that that 
same nine days' wondher to them has been 
a nine months' wondher to me, an' if the 
divil curses me with ye much longer, I'm 
misdoubtin' me but the wondher 'ill wear 
me out me life." 

"Ay, there she goes now," says Thady, 



The Leadin Road to Donegal 11 



" there she goes. Jist set her tongue agoin', 
and Boneyparty himself, at the head of all 
his rajiments, couldn't stop it." 

" Faix, and it's no wondher, for it's sorely 
fetched out of me, when I have a skin-flint 
such as you to dale with," says Molly. " But 
at the same time, maybe I could hould me 
tongue with you, Thady Eooney." 

" I doubt it, Molly Maguire," says Thady, 
says he. 

" Do ye, throgs? " says Molly. 

u I do, medam," says Thady. 

" Well and good then," says Molly. " I'll 
thry ye out for it; and let it be that the first 
spaiks a word, bad, good, or ondifferent, 'ill 
have to mind the pig." 

"Done," says Thady, and he slaps his 
knee. 

Well, be the hokey, that was the quan- 
dharry. The conthrariness begun to work 
Molly, an' up she bounces, though it wasn't 
more nor the middle of the night, and put- 
tin' on a good rousin, blazin' fire, and boilin' 
as sthrong a dhrap of tay as iver come out 
of the black pandy, to rise her heart, she sits 
herself down to her spinnin' wheel and starts 



12 Through the Turf Smoke 



spinning at the same time humming " The 
Geese in the Bog/' this way* — 



''g^J^^m.jmJm.ini^m-lmom.tm.im.lni.ini.im.im.im.irn.im.Cm.lrri.lni.tii) 

at such a rate that Thady, poor man, might 
as well think of sleeping in a beeskep. But 
Thady wasn't going to allow himself to be 
aggerivated into spaiking so aisy as that. So 
up me brave Thady jumps, and afther a pit- 
cher of tay that was enough to lift a man's 
heart up through the riggin', he crosses his 
legs on the table, and dhrawin' a pair of half- 
finished trousers that he was doin' for Father 
Luke to him, he stharts sewing the trousers 
and whistlin' " The Black Joke," lake this— 




ew-ew-ew .ew.ew-ew • ew-ew-ew-ew-ew-ew - ew.ew-ew-ew 



And there the two of them pegged away, 
and lilted and whistled away like a pair of 
thrushes; and, if ye'd believe their purtend- 

* To be as effective as intended, parts of this story 
must be acted rather than read. 



The Leadin' Road to Donegal 13 



in', ye wouldn't know which of them had the 
lightest heart. And whin Molly, the cra- 
thur, got tired of " The Geese in the Bog," 
she started on " Larry O'Gaff," and Thady, 
poor man, whistled up " Go to the divil and 
shake yerself" with a vingince that was 
enough to loosen any woman's tongue. But 
Molly was good grit, and she only spun 
harder and put more life into the lilt. And 
things went on this way till in the coorse of 
a little time a pony and thrap dhruv up till 
the door with a jintleman and his sarvint in 
it. The jintleman was makin' the best of 
his way for the town of Dinnygal, and bein' 
a stranger in them parts, and not knowin' 
the right road when he came to the cross, 
and seein' the light in the wee cabin, he pulls 
up his pony, and says he to his sarvint, says 
he, — ■ 

" Go intil that house and ax them if they'd 
kindly diract ye the leadin' road to Dinny- 
gal." 

So the sarvint lifts the latch of the door, 
and ye'll be afther believin' he opened his 
eyes purty wide when he seen Molly spinnin' 
and liltin', and Thady sewin' and whistlin' 



14 Through the Turf Smoke 



with as much unconsarn as if it was twelve 
o'clock in the day with them. 

" God save all here/' says he. " Isn't this 
the purty night entirely? " 

Molly lifted her head and looked at him, 
and then went on with her spinnin' and 
hummin/ and Thady lifted his head and 
looked at him, and then went on with his 
sewin' and whistlin' again, but naither of 
them said dhirum or dharum. 

The sarvint was a trifle mismoved at this, 
but he walked up closer to Thady, who was 
now whistlin' " The girl I left behind me," 
and he says, says he, — 

"It's benighted we are, meself and the 
masther without, and we'd feel obligated to 
ye if ye'd kindly put us on the leadin' road 
to Dinnygal." 

Thady wint on with his work unconsarned, 
and says, — 



Phew-ewr-ew.ew.ew-ew - ew . ew . cw-ew . ew-ew . 



says Thady, says he, comin' down hard on 
the last bar or so, an' — without ivir movin' 
his eyes off his work — timin' it with three 



The Leadin' Road to Donegal 15 



or four shakes of the head in the dirackshin 
of Molly, as much as to say, " Ax her, and 
she'll tell ye." 

Then the sarvint turned to Molly, and 
says he, — 

"Prosper the work, good woman, and 
could ye oblige meself and the man without 
be puttin' us on the leadin' road to Dinny- 
gal?" 

Me brave Molly was spinnin' away and 
hummin' away at " There's nae gude luck 
about the house," and she wint on with her 
work, but makes answer, — 



says Molly, says she, hummin' away, an' 
without liftin' her eyes off her work, only — 
jist like Thady — comin' down hard on the 
last bar or two, and timin' it with three or 
four shakes of her head in the dirackshin of 
Thady, as much as to say, " Jist let his lord- 
ship himself tell ye." 

Faix, at this the poor man made for the 
door, as if there was a rajiment at his heels, 
and goin' up to his masther says, — 



16 Through the Turf Smoke 



"We'd betther be takin' the first road 
come handiest to get out of this, for it's a 
branch office of the asylum for oncurable 
lunatics, is that cabin there." 

" Get out, ye omadhaun," says the jintle- 
man. " Did ye not make out the leadin' 
road to Dinnygal ? " says he. 

" No, I made out the leadin' road to the 
door," says the sarvint, " thanks be to Pro- 
vidince for his marcy; and it was the speed 
of me heels carried me out of it. I seen 
mad men and mad weemen," says he, " in 
me time, but the lake of what's goin' on in 
thondher I nivir rested me eyes on afore and 
trust I nivir may again." 

" Confound ye for a numskull," says the 
jintleman, jumpin' down and throwin' the 
sarvint the reins. " Hould them things till 
I find out the road." 

" God bliss ye and send ye safe back," says 
the sarvint, as the jintleman wint in of the 
door. 

The jintleman marched up to Thady, who 
was sewin' away and whistlin' away without 
ivir liftin' his head, and, says he, — 

" Could ye tell me, good man," says he, 



The Leadin' Road to Donegal 17 

" or give me the dirackshins of the leadin' 
road to Dinnygal?" 

Thady went on with his work, and re- 
plied, — 



" Pbew-ew • e w-ew • ew-ew ■ e w . e w . ew . ew • ew-ew . t» • m^-eu • no" 



says Thady, says he, indycatin' him for to 
ax Molly as afore. 

Then the jintleman wint up to Molly, who 
was as busy at her work as what Thady was 
at his. 

" Prosper the work, good woman," says 
he, " and could ye dirackt me on the leadin' 
road to Dinnygal?" 

Molly nivir lifted her head, but answers 
him, — 



"Him • Im • im - Im ■ Im • im • Im - lni • fcn - fm ■ (m ■ tm • <m • im" 

says Molly, says she, sendin' him back the 
same way to Thady for information. 

And there he was in the quandharry. 

" Ah, be this and be that," says he to him- 
self at last, " I'll bait the biggest button on 



18 Through the Turf Smoke 



my coat that I make ye spake, ye ould hay- 
thin', ye," says he to himself, refarrin' to 
Thady. 

So with that he thurns to Molly again, 
and says, — 

" Well, in throth, me good woman, ye 
mightn't be ashamed to open that purty 
little mouth o' yours to reply to a sthranger, 
for — though it's afore yer face I say it — I'd 
thravel far afore I'd see another mouth as 
coaxin'," says he. 









"Him . im-im-lm-im • 1 


m - im • Lm • im - im -im .im-i 


Im - tm" 



says Molly, says she, back to him, but this 
time she did look up from her work, throwin' 
the most sootherin', deludhrin', coaxin', sly 
look at him sideways, an' noddin' her head 
to him on the last notes, mainin', " Throth, 
ye spake thrue there, good man, but how do 
ye lake me now? " 

"I think, good man," says he, then, 
thurning to Thady — " I think, good man," 
says he, " ye would hardly refuse a sthranger 
jist the laste little taste of a kiss from that 
purty little wife o' yours," says he. 



The Leadin' Road to Donegal 19 




says Thady, says he, gettin' as black in the 
countenance as a thurf, an' shakin' his fist 
three times on the last notes, right in the 
sthranger's face. 

" Now, what do ye say to that yerself, me 
purty little woman?" says the jintleman, 
thurnin' to Molly. 




says Molly, says she, givin' him another of 
her sootherin' looks, an' waggin' him on with 
three wags of her forefinger an' her head, 
as she come out with the last notes. 

" Oh, ye natarnal hussy, ye, I knew it was 
in ye," says Thady, jumpin' off the boord 
in a thundherin' rage. 

" All right, Thady," says Molly, says she, 
jumpin' up and clappin' her hands with de- 
light. " All right, Thady," says she, " You 
mind the Pig! " 



The Boyne Water 



The Boyne Water 



William Scott and Liz'anne were not ac- 
counted exemplary citizens in our little re- 
public of Knockagar. Very far from it. 
Independent of the civil feuds which dis- 
turbed the Scott household, they were hard- 
ened sinners against society at large in that 
they never visited either church or chapel — 
the unpardonable sin with us. Though the 
young people, the waggish, and the less seri- 
ous-minded, enjoyed William and Liz'anne, 
their irreligious conduct continually kept all 
the gray pows in the parish shaking. 

William's own father and mother had been 
of different religious persuasions, and they 
had spent their life squabbling over whether 
William should be a Catholic or a Protestant, 
with the result that, though William earned 
his father's grudge and his mother's good- 
will by lustily professing himself "a thrue 
Roman," he practised no religion. 



24 Through the Turf Smoke 



It might well have been thought that, with 
the unhappy results of a mixed marriage so 
vividly before his eyes, William would steer 
clear of the danger. But, as Donal a-Thoor- 
isk said, mixed marriages, like wooden legs, 
ran in the blood. William, noisy Catholic 
as he always was, began early to show a par- 
tiality for the daughters of the Heretic, and, 
to nobody's surprise, wound up by a run- 
away marriage with Liz'anne, whose own 
people immediately cut her off. 

But all things considered, William made a 
promising start. He had succeeded in in- 
ducing Liz'anne to submit to a Eoman Cath- 
olic marriage. At this there were many 
optimists among us, willing to suspend judg- 
ment till we'd see further. But again many 
others would not take a roseate view of mat- 
ters. They prophetically said, " You'll see 
what you'll see ! " then closed their mouths 
hard, and shook their heads. And, I regret 
to say, events justified this prophecy. 

For six months William and Liz'anne got 
on agreeably as well as comfortably. Wil- 
liam was a weaver, and famed for good 
workmanship. And Liz'anne was as good, 



The Boyne Water 25 



as tidy, and as clean a housekeeper as any 
of the most religious women at the Bocht. 
When she had her house trigged up for the 
day, and she had sat down in the front win- 
dow to her sprigging, while William worked 
the loom close by the back window, and two 
spotlessly white cats — for Liz'anne was fond 
of cats and always kept two big ones — sitting 
on their haunches on either side of the swept 
hearth dreamily dropped their eyelids, and 
purred at each other across the fire, it was a 
pleasure to go into William's and have a 
chair, and be soothed with the comfort 
that filled the cabin. For six months, Wil- 
liam and Liz'anne kept their religious opin- 
ions under due restraint, and their happy 
content was uninterrupted. There was no 
danger of dispute about going to church or 
chapel, for neither of the pair had any de- 
cided penchant for visiting either. 

~Now William was not a drinking man in 
the usual acceptation of the term; he had no 
craving for drink, but he seemed to feel that 
he owed himself and society the duty of get- 
ting gloriously drunk two or three times a 
year. And when William got drunk, his 



26 Through the Turf Smoke 



religious enthusiasm came uppermost, all the 
religious sentiment that had accumulated in 
his soul since he was previously on the spree 
suddenly began to boil, and William, quite 
indifferent to the religious susceptibilities of 
neighbours of a different way of thinking, 
threw open the safety-valve, when any who 
didn't choose to get out of the way were wel- 
come to their scalding. William was now 
rampantly and aggressively Catholic, eager 
to let his blood colour the sod in the cause 
of his beloved Faith. His antithesis was 
Orange Watty — a weaver likewise — who 
lived under Dhrimanerry hill, not far dis- 
tant. And hither, when the religious out- 
burst seized him, was William wont to betake 
himself, creating a hostile demonstration in 
front of poor Watty Farrell's: "Whoop! 
Hurroo! To *** with King William, an' 
God bliss the Pope!" 

Watty Farrell was spare and small of 
frame; he had a short temper, and was an 
ardent, fiery Orangeman, who gloried in 
being standard-bearer on "the Great 
Twelfth/' and defiantly flaunted the flag in 
the face of the exasperated enemy — al- 



The Boyne Water 27 



though, " the Twelfth " being past and no 
other burning religious feeling being in the 
air, his Catholic neighbours had not a more 
cordial or a more esteemed friend than 
Orange Watty. Let Watty, though, be in 
what frame of mind he might, the instant 
he heard William Scott's defiant voice raised 
without, blaspheming his idol, and invoking 
a blessing on Anti-Christ, he bounded from 
his loom, all the Orange valour within him 
surging through his blood, and insignificant 
as he was in size, it always gave his big burly 
sister, Bella, enough ado to hold in her clasp 
his squirming form, until by some means or 
other she had got the door barred and bolted, 
and the danger of little Watty going out to 
commit homicide thus considerably lessened. 
And when William, waxing yet more inso- 
lent, sang loudly, 

Wor ye iver in Glenties fair ? 

Says the Shan Van Vocht. 
Wor ye iver in Glenties fair ? 

Says the Shan Van Vocht. 
Wor ye iver in Glenties fair, 
Where (Hurroo !) they clip the Orange mare, 
And make stockin's of her hair ? 

Says the Shan Van Vocht, 



28 Through the Turf Smoke 



Watty, like a caged tiger, screamed and 
raged within — and felt anything but soothed 
when William added him of a good stomach- 
ful of personal abuse, ere he left. 

About six months after his marriage with 
Liz'anne, William let himself out on one of 
these royal sprees, and went through his 
usual programme, including the customary 
visit to Watty's and outpouring of bile there- 
at. But, as the fates would have it, big Bella 
being from home, and so no restraint upon 
Watty, the little fellow had come out, and — 
for William was too drunk for defence — 
u hammered the papish sowl-case out of 
him " — so Watty eloquently described it, 
after — and chased him for his life! 

When William came home after his igno- 
minious defeat at the hands of such a miser- 
able little droich as Orange Watty, he was 
not in the sweetest temper — and the animus 
he bore King William was much intensified. 
He tried to steady himself in the middle 
of the floor, and to look the haughty 
papist to perfection. He fixed his gaze on 
Liz'anne, who, in the window-seat, sprigged 
away industriously — " To (hie) *** with 



The Boyne Water 29 



him, I say! To (hie) *** with him! To 
(hie— hie) *** with King Bi(hic)-Bil-hil- 
ly! " That was too much for Liz'anne's 
militant Protestantism to tolerate. She got 
up instantly, and to the utter consternation 
of the already well-abused William, seized a 
creepy-stool and whacked him out of his own 
house. " Now, to *** with yerself, an' the 
Pope, an' with every dhirty papish from 
Connaught to Guinealand! an' a necklace o' 
red-hot mill-stones roun' yer necks to keep 
yez there when yez are down!" and the justly 
indignant Liz'anne, casting a last contempt- 
uous look at her poor amazed husband 
where he sat on the street vaguely feeling for 
his sores, slammed out, and bolted, the door. 
And when at length William felt collected 
enough to gather himself together, he stood 
a good while gazing at the inhospitable door, 
which coldly stared him back; then he shook 
his head with grievous meaning, and turning 
away felt it very hard that, owning a house, 
and a comfortable one, he was compelled to 
go and petition the Bummadier (the village 
pensioner) for the favour of a night's 
lodging. 



30 Through the Turf Smoke 

It took ten days probably for William and 
Liz'anne to consent to forget this, their first 
little disagreement. But it remembered 
them that they had each a faith to defend, 
and henceforward they were slow to let pass 
without doing their duty any opportunity 
offered. Of course I do not mean that they 
attended to the outward observances their 
religions required of them — they were not 
guilty of going to church and chapel, nor 
did they commit themselves to prayer, any 
more than formerly, but they were hence- 
forth staunch advocates of their respective 
faiths, and waxed great in polemics. 

" Well, for the life o' me," on a day when 
polemics raged, William would say from his 
seat at the loom, "I can't tell for what did 
they curse me with the name they did! Wil- 
liam! Och, to *** with it! Hard feedin' 
to them, an' my left-handed blissin' be on 
them done it! " 

"Ha! ha!" Liz'anne would sarcastically 
laugh, throwing back her head. " No more 
do I know why they give such a name to 
the lakes (like) o' ye. Hard feedin' to them, 
say I, an' conshumin' to them! an' my left- 



The Boyne Water 31 



handed blissin' be on them lakewise! " Liz'- 
anne was very bitter, and in debate had that 
sort of a triumphant crow with her, which 
exasperates. 

"It's a name for a jackass," William would 
angrily retort. 

" If that's so, they fitted ye well. But I 
say it's Pathrick you should have been called 
— that's the proper name for a jackass." 

"Hour yer tongue, ye barge ye!" and 
William would stamp his foot. " Ye varago 
ye, houl' yer tongue! — If ye can," he would 
add, tauntingly. 

"Yis, Pathrick it should V been," and 
Liz'anne would calmly move about her work, 
" for any jackass called other than Pathrick 
is miscalled." 

" Sent Pathrick was a jintleman, ye targer 
ye! What you, or wan belongin' to ye, nivir 
was, nor niver 'ill be. Don't dar' for to even 
a word again' Sent Pathrick! " 

" Make yer min ? aisy — I wouldn't soil me 
spoon on him if I met him in the stirabout 
pot." 

" Ha-ha-ha! Yez haven't got the lakes of 
him any how among yer haratics." 



32 Through the Turf Smoke 



" Ha! ha! In throth an' if I thought they 
suffered the lakes of him among them, Fd 
turn Turk the morra." 

" Ho, ye natarnal vag ye! Ye would, 
would ye? Faith an* the Thurks, if they 
knew ye as well as I do, would prefer yer 
room to yer company. An' didn't I tell ye 
hundhreds o' times not for to go for to abuse 
Sent Pathrick— don't do it! " 

" Then don't you be throwin' the dhirty 
spalpeen in my face." 

"Oh Lord! Oh Lord!" poor William 
would exclaim in agony. 

" The dhirty spalpeen, indeed! " Liz'anne 
would repeat, seeing the sore spot. 

"Ye will dhrive me mad, woman! Oh, 
Lord! " 

" Hagh! ye've put that out o' me power — 
for it's long since ye went mad. I niver met 
that papish yet hadn't the mad touch in him. 
What did they disgrace the good an' holy 
name of King William puttin' it on you for, 
anyhow? " 

" It's me was disgraced by gettin' it." 

" Get out, ye papish beggar! Don't say 
it!" 



The Boyne Water 33 



"Hagh! ye Orange tar-maj-ent ye, I'm 
disgraced." 

"Ha! ha! disgraced! The divil himself 
couldn't disgrace you — no more nor soot 
might disgrace a chimbley-sweep." 

" Ma'am, ye're goin' too far. Ye'd temp' 
the Pope." 

" The Pope, moryah ! To the divil with 
you an' the Pope. The Pope! Och, short 
daith to him! If I owned a pig I had any 
respect for I wouldn't let Mm carry broc (re- 
fuse) to it." 

" Oh Lord! Lord! Will ye let the Holy 
Pope alone atself that's not intherfairin' 
with ye! " 

" An' didn't I tell ye afore to keep yer ill 
company to yerself? If ye don't want him 
abused don't go for to be throwin' the vaga- 
bone in my face." 

"Vagabone! The Holy Pope o' Rome! 
Marcy look down on us! Are ye not afeerd, 
woman? Are ye not thrimblin'? " 

" Och then the divil a thrimble's ailin' 
me, I thank you." 

"Vagabone! Vagabone! I'll tell ye what 
it is, me good woman, if, be hook or be 
3 



34 Through the Turf Smoke 

crook, them words o' yours reached him, 
there'd he an ass's head on ye in five minutes 
time! " 

"Ha, ha, ha, ha! An ass's head, indeed! 
An' throth I'm afeerd there's too few of his 
own sort could spare the wan he'd give me. 
An ass's head! Ha, ha, ha! " 

Poor William wasn't nimhle-witted 
enough for the sarcastic Liz'anne. He 
never entered into argument with her that 
he, somehow or other, didn't come out sec- 
ond best, for she could, metaphorically, twist 
him around her finger, and cast him over her 
shoulder with an ease that was gall to Wil- 
liam's soul. To William's credit, be it said, 
no matter how much she enraged him, he 
never dreamt of physical force as a good 
argumentative agent. 

Of course these theological disputes were 
not perpetual. Very far from that. A day 
or two of each month might be set apart for 
them; during the remainder of the month, 
Liz'anne was a dutiful wife and William a 
loving husband, and to all appearance, whilst 
they consented to forget their religions both 
enjoyed more happiness and content than 



The Boyne Water 35 



could easily be expected of such unregener- 
ate ones. 

When a young generation of Scotts were 
growing up, additional causes of disagree- 
ment entered into the lives of William and 
Liz'anne. There might, indeed, have arisen 
serious difference of opinion over the bap- 
tising of the children only that William, 
who, when he saw a material advantage could 
be thereby gained, was possessed of a share 
of policy, and taking the easy way of Liz'- 
anne — the only way in which she could be 
thwarted — had them christened as he de- 
sired. True, on the occasion of her first, the 
Bocca Fadh* (with William's connivance) 
gave it a hurried private baptism — intending 
thus to have the foreway of Liz'anne if with 
returning strength of body should come 
stubbornness of mind. But the moment he 
had finished the snatch-cerem.ny in Wil- 
liam's kitchen, it would be difficult to say 
whether his pain or his amazement was the 
greater at the stout blow that took him over 
the head, and set a squadron of stars doing 
intricate evolutions before his eyes, for Liz'- 

* Long Beggarman. 



36 Through the Turf Smoke 



anne, in her bed in the room, suspected 
something, and arriving on the scene robed 
in a manner not quite appropriate to the 
kitchen, and for which the exigency of the 
occasion was her excuse, had seized hold of 
Shan a-Phiopa's (who had come to the chris- 
tening) stick, laid on the Bocca Fadh with 
a precision and effectiveness of stroke very 
creditable indeed for a woman whom the 
conventionalities of society require to be 
hovering between death and life. Anyhow, 
on this occasion there was more of life than 
death dealing with Mistress Scott's arm and 
tongue, for she very quickly cleared the 
Bocca Fadh out of the house, loaded with a 
sore load of both physical and moral abuse — 
and the other trembling revellers who had 
assembled to enjoy the christening had grat- 
itude in their hearts when she let them es- 
cape with a tongue-thrashing. The Bocca 
Fadh paraded his wounds around the parish, 
and made much capital from a humble com- 
parison of himself with those good and re- 
nowned men of the early church who were 
martyred in the same cause in which he had 
so sorely suffered. 



The Boyne Water 37 



But a time came, and the neighbours told 
William it was a shame that he wasn't send- 
ing the children out to chapel; and it forced 
itself on William that it was part of his duty, 
as a good Catholic, to do so. He wove for 
them some of his best tweeds, and John 
Burns carefully took the measure of the eld- 
est, and, making necessary allowances for 
variation in size, cut out the making of nice 
suits for all of them after this standard. 
Liz'anne found what was going on; she did- 
n't say much, but began making little neces- 
saries for them, also, resolved they should go 
to church. As the day of the children's 
debut approached relations became strained, 
the tension gradually increased, and, on the 
eventful morning both William and Liz'anne 
joined in dressing the children, vieing which 
should do most, and heartily abusing each 
other's religion all the time. But, alas! Wil- 
liam was faultlessly dressed himself and 
sporting his Sunday shoes on which Liz'anne 
had, the night before, bestowed a magnifi- 
cent polish — and so prepared to go with the 
children. Here he had poor Liz'anne, whose 
wardrobe — neat and clean and plentiful 



38 Through the Turf Smoke 

enough for housewear — boasted no holiday 
garments. Eventually, when she had with 
infinite pains fitted the children up in their 
neatest, and saw that William stood by the 
door waiting to guard the flock into the 
proper fold, she lost at once her resolve and 
her temper; she huddled the children out of 
the door, pitched poor William out on top of 
them, " Here, an' away to *** now, you an' 
them ! " she said, and slammed the door. 

But, of their five children, Liz'anne won 
to her church the allegiance of four. The 
fifth and eldest hoisted William's colours, 
and was very proud to proclaim himself " a 
jiggered papish." Eeligious disagreements 
were now no less rife. But William had 
long since tired of the monotony of being 
beaten, and had given up trying on such oc- 
casions to return Liz'anne word for word, 
and he schooled the son who had shown him- 
self worthy of him, to express his feelings 
rather by looks than words — though he him- 
self still employed words. When, occasion- 
ally, a religious difference would now arise, 
William without any delay laid down what 
he styled the Boyne Wather, a shaft of alder- 



The Boyne Water 39 



wood about twenty feet long, which from the 
hearth passed down the centre of the floor, 
dividing the house equally. When the 
Boyne Wather was laid down it was a mutu- 
ally understood and respected rule that Liz'- 
anne and her following were to keep to the 
front half of the kitchen, while William and 
his small but staunch support kept the other 
half. Insulting words and looks flung across 
the Boyne Wather were of course quite with- 
in the rules of war, but on none but the most 
urgent account could either party trespass on 
hostile territory — whereby this Boyne Wather 
surpassed its original. The waggish ones of 
the Bocht, who took a sinful delight in the 
religious controversies which troubled the 
lives of William and Liz'anne, were fond of 
quizzing the former when they got him at 
wake or other gathering where fun was the 
order. 

"Well, William, is the Boyne Wather 
down or up, this weather?" and the inter- 
rogator, with a twinkling eye, appealed to 
the humour of the house. 

" Och it's down, down," with a mournful 
shake of the head. " I had to fetch it from 



40 Through the Turf Smoke 



behind the house " (the customary resting 
place of the Boyne Wather when peace 
reigned) " yistherday evening an' glory be 
to Goodness!" with a sigh, "it's down yet, 
an' small signs of thon woman lettin' me 
take it up." 

When William had got the Boyne Water 
safely laid, and got to his loom again amid 
a hail of abuse from Liz'anne, he wrought 
harder than was his wont, and he made the 
shuttle fly to an unending accompaniment 
of " No wondher! No wondher! No won- 
dher! No wondher! " his sole, and very ex- 
asperating reply, now, to Liz'anne's abusive 
arguments. As long as Liz'anne continued 
bestowing hurtful epithets on William and 
William's church, so long would William, in 
a doleful voice, continue the Jeremiad — " No 
wondher! No wondher! No wondher! " 
thus stinging Liz'anne into protracting her 
unedifying discourse, which, by reaction, 
lengthened in turn William's mournful 
chant. And let happen what domestic 
events might, or let who would come in or 
go out, whilst the Boyne Wather was down, 
and the fit on William, he went on with his 



The Boyne Water 41 



loom and his plaint, the shuttle swinging to 
and fro, his head nodding to it in a mourn- 
ful manner, and he proclaiming " No wond- 
her! No wondher! No wondher! No wond- 
her! No wondher! " 

On a Twelfth of July William's second 
son, who had been honouring the occasion 
not wisely but too well, came swaggering up 
through the Bocht, eliciting from the echoes 
lusty cheers for the pious, glorious, and im- 
mortal King William, and right heartily and 
boisterously abusing all the enemies of the 
said William and of his church. The Wil- 
liam who had fallen away from the traditions 
of his name, to wit, the enthusiast's own 
father, heard him with deep mortification, 
and slunk in a convenient door till the son 
who shamed him had passed. He felt called 
upon to apologize for the conduct of his un- 
worthy offspring; he shook his head deject- 
edly — " I don't know how that is," poor Wil- 
liam said, " for that boy comes of wan of the 
d d best Catholic stocks in Dinnygal! " 

The children of William and Liz'anne dis- 
appointed us all — pleasingly disappointed us 
— by the good turn-out they made, for we 



42 Through the Turf Smoke 

had ever had our forebodings about their 
future. They went to America one by one, 
prospered, and never forgot the old couple. 

When the children had disappeared the 
Boyne Wather began to be requisitioned less 
often. Very probably it had got to be laid 
down on Patrick's Day and the Twelfth of 
July — but William and Liz'anne would be 
more than human if this wasn't so. During 
the remainder of the year it lay behind the 
house in merited neglect. It was not that 
either had got any less zealous in their re- 
ligion. William remained, what always he 
had been, one of the staunchest Catholics 
that never attended chapel — and Liz'anne, 
in like manner, and to the like extent ten- 
dered unabated loyalty to her church. But 
old Time had softened the asperities of both 
tongue and temper, and strengthened that 
regard for each other, which, despite their 
disputes, William and Liz'anne had ever 
maintained. For years it had been a stand- 
ing joke for the countryside, how, Watty 
Farrell having once happened into William's 
when the Boyne Wather was down and the 
wordy artillery in full play across it, and 



The Boyne Water 43 



having had the temerity to join Liz'anne in 
her abuse of William, Saint Patrick, and the 
Pope, Liz'anne had without more ado emp- 
tied a bucket of water over the audacious 
little weaver, and then emptied him, drip- 
ping, out of the house. 

And when William got "the sthroke"* 
and every one thought him dying, Liz'anne, 
despite the bitter, sleety, awful night it was, 
dashed out, unshawled and unhooded, and 
off to Father Dan's at the top of her speed, 
and, not finding Father Dan at home, ran 
again, breathless, four sore Irish miles to 
Corameenlusky where he was attending 
Hughy Shan's old mother, and carried him 
off with her, to give to William the consola- 
tions of his religion. And William received 
these as hopefully as many a more regular 
Catholic. 

William lingered for several weeks, and 
Liz'anne's concern and attentions were 
touching. For all of that morning upon 
which he died, William kept repeating one 
word — " Liz'anne, Liz'anne, Liz'anne, Liz'- 
anne," as unceasingly and persistently as he 

* Paralysis. 



44 Through the Turf Smoke 



had ever chanted " Xo wondher! No won- 
dher! No wondher! " over his loom. It was 
the ravin' of death, they said, was on him. 
Despite the heart-whole prayers of the good 
old women of the Bocht, assembled in his 
room beseeching God to give him a happy 
and sudden release, William's dying moments 
were protracted. It was at length agreed 
that the presence of a heretic was the cause. 
The weeping Liz'anne, poor woman, agree- 
ing with this opinion, quitted it, and, accord- 
ing to expectation, William soon closed his 
eyes in peace. 

The Boyne Wather was laid down, for the 
last time, at William's wake — but this time 
across the hearth, making several very warm 
and cheery fires for the comfort of the wait- 
ers. They all knew its history, yet the boys 
who had so often made merry about it, joked 
not on the occasion. 



The Quad-dhroop-eds 



The Quad-dhroop-eds 



A TRUE TALE OF THE CRUCKAGAR DEATH 
OR GLORY DEVOTED SOKS OF WILLIAM 
L.O.L. 19,019. 

The Cruckagar Death or Glory Devoted 
Sons of William L.O.L., 19,019, had long 
been a shining light amongst the Loyal 
Orange Lodges of the North. The burning 
eloquence of the rhetoric that from it flowed 
and the dazzling brilliancy of the brave and 
dauntless deeds the Death or Glory Boys 
threatened to perform if only opportunity 
offered, marked them and their lodge as the 
worthiest inheritors to whom had descended 
the glorious traditions of stubborn fights and 
bloody fields, the heritage of Aughrim and 
the Boyne. 

The Cruckagar Death or Glory Devoted 
Sons of William L.O.L., 19,019, had been, 
we said, the shining light amongst its sister 



48 Through the Turf Smoke 

lodges. But alas and alas, that we have to 
relate it! that light which shone so long, so 
brightly, and so steadity, the Pole Star of all 
who worshipped at the shrine of Civil and 
Eeligious Freedom and Equality, and de- 
tested Pope and Popery, Base Bigotry, Brass 
Money and Wooden Shoes — alas and alas! 
that light was, to the extreme concern of all 
true, peaceful, and law-abiding subjects — 
subjects whose excess of loyalty and burning 
love of law and order prompted them to kick 
even her Most Gracious Majesty's Crown 
into the Boyne if she obeyed not their man- 
dates — that light, again we repeat, was 
eventually dimmed and finally obscured for- 
ever. 

And in this way the lamentable catas- 
trophe came about. 

One of the fundamental rules of the 
Cruckagar Death or Glory Devoted Sons of 
William L.O.L., 19,019, was that the toast 
of " The glorious pious and immortal mem- 
ory " of William who freed us from the neck- 
collar of Rome and the wooden shoes and 
other impositions of France, might be 
pledged as frequently as the members chose 



The Quad-dhroop-eds 49 



during the first half-dozen toasts, but for a 
wy good reason, gathered from experience, 
was not to be attempted after the sixth 
round. This wise ordinance was strictly and 
piously observed till the cloak of Worshipful 
Grand Master fell upon the shoulders of 
Billy M'Carter, one of the most militant 
members of a most militant lodge, and cer- 
tainly one of the most sincerely devoted chil- 
dren that ever worshipped the memory of his 
illustrious namesake of the Boyne. Billy's 
unmasterable, unrestrainable enthusiasm 
prompted him to toast his regal namesake's 
memory first of the toasts, and second of the 
toasts, and then third of them, fourth of 
them, fifth of them, sixth of them, and 
seventh of them; the eighth toast was to 
the memory of William, as were likewise the 
ninth and tenth. The intelligent reader has, 
of course, foreseen the result, and the reason 
why the children of William, as children of 
many other parents, disputed, disagreed, sep- 
arated, and the lustre of family records was 
dimmed. Yes, about, or after, the sixth 
toast, Mister M'Carter's voice lost its dis- 
tinctness of utterance, with the alarming re- 
4 



50 Through the Turf Smoke 



suit that henceforward he was toasting " The 
glorious pies (hie), and immor'al mem'ry " q£ 
King William! And finding the martial- 
spirited Billy unamenable to reason, Murray 
M'Clure led the revolt. The adhesion to his 
side of the Rev. Simon M'Whan, too, inten- 
sified matters, and swelled the numbers of 
the rebels. The more ardent spirits among 
them stood fast and firm by their Worship- 
ful Grand Master and the lodge. The ex- 
citement was great. Informal meetings of 
both parties took place nightly, the Rev. 
Simon M'Whan harbouring the insurgents. 
Active hostilities were quickly instituted, 
and the great guns of both parties were 
wrought to bursting, hurling deadly dis- 
charges of rhetoric across the way at the en- 
campment of the enemy, and evoking as 
thundering, as death-dealing, volleys in re- 
turn. Both sides had submitted their case 
to the higher authorities with the least pos- 
sible delay, each claiming for itself to be the 
True Devoted Sons of William. The higher 
authorities found themselves unable to de- 
cide the delicate and complicated question, 
and referred it back to the claimants for mu- 



The Quad-dhroop-eds 51 

tual settlement. But the breach was now too 
wide, and their respective principles had, ere 
this, burned themselves into the breasts of 
either party. Billy hurled Anathema at 
Murray and Simon. Murray and Simon 
hurled deepest and direst Anathema at Billy. 

And lo, the excitement in Cruckagar got. 
a new impetus! On a morning Billy M'Car- 
ter astonished Cruckagar by producing a 
sympathetic letter from no less famous, 
no less renowned a brother of the most zeal- 
ous and prominent brethren of the North, 
than the great William Aughrim Boarin'- 
Meg Walker, Governor of the Apprentice 
Boys, Worshipful Grand Master of the Lon- 
donderry Glorious Memories of Bloody 
Fields L.O.L., 99,942, stating his opinion 
that Mister M'Carter was a worthy sufferer 
in the good cause, that he and his faithful 
followers were undoubtedly the True and the 
only True, Sons of William; that they re- 
flected honour upon their Order, glory upon 
the Cause, and renown upon Ireland, and 
that furthermore, he, William Aughrim 
Eoarin'-Meg Walker, Governor of the Ap- 
prentice Boys, and Worshipful Grand Master 



52 Through the Turf Smoke 



of the Londonderry Glorious Memories of 
Bloody Fields L.O.L., 99,942, should take 
an early opportunity of going down to 
Cruckagar to strengthen the hands of Mister 
M'Carter, and make his unworthy enemies 
humble them in the dust before him! 

There was joy in Israel! In Gath was 
wailing and weeping and gnashing of teeth! 



II. 



Paddy Monaghan's " Bush " was richly de- 
serving of its intended title of Omnibus. Its 
uses were, indeed, varied and manifold. 
There was a happy appropriateness in Mas- 
ther Whorisky's expressed opinion that 
Paddy's Bush was " a versatile arrange- 
ment." The Bush had been superannuated 
at the Major's, when Paddy got it for the 
taking away. Then in the summer time 
Paddy had it brushed up and ornamented, 
when it answered alike to drive a child to be 
christened, or a pair to be married, or — an 
" impromptu hearse " the Masther put it — a 
corpse to the grave. One day it drove out a 
party of merry pleasure seekers, next day 
a group of wailing mourners. On Sunday it 
drove the Major to church, and on Monday 
it took " a crathur in the faiver (God save us 
all!) " to the hospital; on Tuesday it took 
the sheriff to the courthouse, and on Wed- 



54 Through the Turf Smoke 

nesday it took poteen to Donegal; on Thurs- 
day the magistrate sat in it; on Friday it had 
a load of eggs and butter, and it finished up 
the week by going to the town for drunken 
Mat, trundling him home and dropping him 
at his own door. Then, in the winter time, 
when trade was dull, Paddy's Bush made a 
most admirable combination dog kennel and 
fowl house; for, whilst Mrs. Monaghan's 
roosters and three turkeys perched on the 
rack above, and the ducks, with one grey 
goose — the others were stole from Shusie, 
good woman, at Hallowday by the card 
players, bad luck to them — squatted under 
the seats, the terrier and the brown colley 
slept comfortably on the cushions. Yes, it 
was a versatile arrangement. 

On a certain day Paddy's Bush trundled 
to Londonderry with a (very) general cargo. 
It was fair day in Londonderry. "When 
Paddy had discharged the cargo he took a 
stroll through the fair. There were on view, 
in addition to the other animals common at 
fairs, horses, mules, jennets, and quad- 
dhroop-eds — a quad-dhroop-ed being Pad- 
dy's nomenclature for what the practical 



The Quad-dhroop-eds 55 

man who now reads these pages would simply 
and straightforwardly call a jackass. 

Now Paddy bethought him that as the 
Ware-day was on him he required, as in pre- 
vious years, a quad-dhroop-ed for the pur- 
pose of back-loading manure up to the 
broken ground in the nor'-aist park, and con- 
sequently, prices being suitable, a quad- 
dhroop-ed he bought. Then the question 
arose how was he to get it home. He 
searched the fair, but didn't find a man from 
the neighbourhood of Cruckagar who might 
lead the quad-dhroop-ed home for him. 
What was he to do? He consulted with 
Aaron M'Clay, for Aaron, now a Deny mer- 
chant, hailed from Cruckagar, and still took 
a lively interest in his native place, and a 
friendly interest in any person therefrom. 
Paddy Monaghan was a particular favourite 
with him, for Paddy carried him the weekly 
budget of doings and sayings at Cruckagar. 
Paddy, we say, in his perplexity, consulted 
with his friend Aaron; and his friend Aaron 
suggested why not take it home in the coach ? 
The idea was a good one. Paddy had neither 
parcel nor passenger to take back, barrin' a 



56 Through the Turf Smoke 



new skillet for Nancy, Father Dan's house- 
keeper, to boil Father Dan's spuds in, and 
a new Dolly Varden hat for Kitty Shinag- 
han, of Sheskin, that was trying to catch Pat 
the Widower, that intended takin' another 
wife, they were sayin', afore Lent; and easily 
he could carry these items on top of the 
coach, lodging the quad-dhroop-ed inside, 
and pulling down the blinds, so that man or 
mortial wouldn't know whether it was the 
Sheriff of the county or the Lord Lieutenant 
himself, was within. A bright idea it was. 
So with Aaron's help, in Aaron's yard, 
quietly and quickly, the quad-dhroop-ed was 
coerced into the Bush, the blinds drawn, and 
the door fastened; and Paddy Monaghan 
started on his return journey. No sooner 
did Aaron see him safely off than he went to 
the Post Office, and — for he was a wag, and 
moreover owed one to Billy M'Carter — tele- 
gramed to Seshaballymore office, the tele- 
gram office nearest Cruckagar, that William 
Aughrim Eoarin'-Meg Walker, Governor of 
the Apprentice Boys, and Worshipful Master 
of the Londonderry Glorious Memories of 
Bloody Fields L.O.L., 99,942, had taken his 



The Quad-dhroop-eds 57 

departure from Londonderry en route to 
Cruckagar, and that he would arrive at his 
destination at or after 11 p.m. in Mr. Patrick 
Monaghan's coach, and it was to be hoped 
that Mr. M'Carter and Mr. M'Carter's friends 
would give him a royal Donegal wel- 
come ! 

The Postmaster at Seshaballymore was a 
loyal Orangeman, was a warm friend and 
partisan of Billy M'Carter's, moreover. So, 
an equestrian messenger he despatched — 
Jimmy the Post — on the Dapple, with the 
good news to Billy. Then was the furor in 
Cruckagar, and the rush and the push, and 
the scouting and scurrying, till the great 
news was dispersed to the extremities of the 
parish, and the copy of the telegram itself 
went round, the fiery cross to bid Billy 
M'Carter's legions in. And by half-past ten 
o'clock that night there wasn't a true 
Orangeman within the bounds of the parish 
who still owned allegiance to Billy and his 
cause, that didn't stand on the street of 
Cruckagar with colours displayed awaiting 
the bold Billy's behest. Band and banner 
were quickly paraded to head the procession, 



58 Through the Turf Smoke 



and torches being lighted and music struck 
up, a gallant body of not less than three hun- 
dred brave and dauntless brethren of the 
Cruckagar Death or Glory Devoted Sons of 
William, L.O.L., 19,019, marched gallantly 
forward on the Derry road. 

Three miles out, Paddy Monaghan's Bush 
was sighted, trundling along the moonlit 
road. A wild cheer rent the air, the band 
quickly struck up "See! the Conquering Hero 
Comes," and rapidly they advanced. Paddy 
was looking behind him, surmising to him- 
self who might be coming after, that they 
were going out to meet, when he found the 
Bush surrounded by the hoarsely howling 
excited multitude, his mare unloosed from 
the vehicle, himself unceremoniously hauled 
from his seat and hustled aside. He en- 
deavoured to ask two or three, by shouting 
into their ears at the top of his voice, what it 
all meant; but even if he could shout loud 
enough to make himself intelligible in the 
midst of the deafening cheers that continu- 
ously rolled up, no one had time to listen to 
him, much less answer his questions. In an- 
other minute, six Death or Glory Devoted 



The Quad-dhroop-eds 59 



Sons of William, getting within the shafts, 
had started the Bush, and the triumphal pro- 
cession, leaving Paddy and his old mare a 
dumbfounded, not to say ill-used, pair. 
Though from thence to Cruckagar the drum- 
mer drummed, and the fifers fifed for all they 
were worth, they drummed and fifed in vain, 
for volley on volley of cheering unintermit- 
tent, drowned their drumming and their fif- 
ing as completely as though they had only 
made a pretence to drum and fife. Into 
Cruckagar the procession rolled, gathering 
volume as it went, and through Cruckagar 
and up to the door of their lodge, which 
stood right opposite the Eectory, in which 
they were quickly made aware the Rev. 
Simon with Murray M'Clure, and their par- 
tisans, had assembled to sympathise with 
each other, and to watch the proceedings op- 
posite. Right in front of the Rectory par- 
lour window, where the base ones and the 
deserters could, to their gall, get a full view 
of the proceedings, the six Death or Glory 
Devoted Sons of William within the shafts 
of the Bush rested from their labours by. 
command of Billy, and three ringing, defiant 



60 Through the Turf Smoke 



cheers were given which, like daggers, 
pierced the very souls of the M'Clurites 
within the Eectory. William Aughrim 
Roarin'-Meg Walker, who had not hitherto 
— as indeed became one so illustrious among 
his people — chosen to acknowledge the ova- 
tion in his honour, nor yet even drawn the 
blinds, would now, on opening the door of 
the Bush, and ere yet he had stepped down 
from it, be asked to stand full front towards 
the shrinking foe (in the Eectory), and there 
with scathing tongue lash the treacherous 
ones till they writhed again! Joy of joys to 
Billy, the moment of sweet retribution 
long looked forward to, was now at hand! 

But there was still a slight, unaccountable 
delay. The blinds were still undrawn, the 
door of the Bush unopened. Surely the oc- 
cupant had not, could not, have fallen asleep, 
nor yet remained asleep during the proceed- 
ings of the past half-hour, proceedings which 
might have called the dead out of the grave- 
yard? Billy knocked a respectful knock at 
the door of the Bush. A painful pause. 
" Three cheers for Misther Walker an' King 
William." With all the power of their lungs 



The Quad-dhroop-eds 61 

this was responded to. Billy knocked again. 
Another painful pause. " Three cheers for 
Darry walls." This demand, too, was well 
and loudly honoured. Billy gave a third 
knock — a bold one this time. During the 
pause, now, a batch of eager faces were dis- 
cerned pressed against the panes of the Rec- 
tory parlour window. " Three more cheers, 
boys, for Simon an' his sarpints." Re- 
sponded to with enthusiastic venom. There 
was nothing for it now but to open the door 
of the Bush and find what was the matter. 
Open Billy had it in a jiffey. Yes, there was 
a noise inside as if of some one gathering 
himself together for the purpose of emerg- 
ing. Billy and the crowd fell back a pace 
at this to give him room, and at a signal from 
Billy, to greet William Aughrim Roarin'- 
Meg Walker, Worshipful Grand Master of 
the Londonderry Glorious Memories of 
Bloody Fields L.O.L., 99,942, on his emer- 
gence, the crowd as one man set up " The 
Battle of the Boyne » : 

"July the First, in Oldbridge town 

There was a grievous battle, 
Where many a man lay on the ground 

By cannons that did rattle : 
King James he pitched his tents between "— 



62 Through the Turf Smoke 



And at this instant the inmate of the Bush, 
from the door projected a head adorned with 
two enormous lugs, and, jealous that they 
should have all the music to themselves, 
forthwith lifted up his voice in one long, 
loud, and most harrowingly unmelodious 
bray! Those people who write fiction, find- 
ing their imaginations unable to cope with 
a crisis they have created, have a shallow 
trick of slinking from their duty by saying, 
" Here we drop the curtain." Now, willy 
nilly, I am constrained to make use of the 
shabby subterfuge of these fellows. 
Here I drop the curtain! 



III. 



Eaise it again, and behold it is Sunday 
morning. And we are in Church — Cruck- 
agar Church, too; for there you see many of 
our old friends. Billy M'Carter, with mel- 
ancholy mien is below; Murray M'Clure, with 
something akin to a gleam of malignant tri- 
umph on his face, sits well to the front; the 
Eev. Simon M'Whan, with a meek expression 
on his face, is just entering the pulpit. 

" Dearly beloved," the good man said, ad- 
justing his glasses and taking up the large 
Bible, "for my text this day you will turn 
to Numbers, twenty-second chapter, twenty- 
eighth and twenty-ninth verses — there we 
read — 

" ' And the Lord opened the mouth of the 
ass, and she said: "What have I done to 
thee? Why strikest thou me, lo, this third 
time?" 

Balaam answered: "Because thou hast 



64 Through the Turf Smoke 



deserved it, and hast served me ill: I would 
I had a sword that I might kill thee." ' " 

On the Sunday following, a little flock, 
with Billy M'Carter as pastor, met for Divine 
worship in one of Billy's barns, and from 
that time forward constituted an indepen- 
dent congregation in themselves. As they 
assumed no name, a name was sought for 
them, and one for their pastor. Balaam, his 
enemies gave to Billy, and the Quad-dhroop- 
eds to his congregation. Their first collec- 
tion, be it noted, was lifted to compensate 
Paddy Monaghan for a slaughtered animal. 



The Prince of Wales' Own 
Donegal Militia 



The Prince of Wales' Own 
Donegal Militia 

The P. W. 0., or Prince of Wales' Own 
Donegal Militia, was, in the year of our tale 
(some fifty years since), one of the finest bod- 
ies of men that ever outflanked a beefsteak, 
or stormed a breakfast-table; whilst the cool 
and dauntless audacity with which half a 
dozen of the heroic fellows would attack a 
solid square of porter bottles, and carry a 
magazine of beers at the point of the cork- 
screw, has ever been alike the envy and the 
admiration of every other body of military 
in the Green Isle — the famous North Corks 
not even excepted. True, their enemies 
urged that in point of discipline they were 
not quite what would have been expected of 
a martial body sporting the proud colours of 
Britain, and that their courage in time of 
trial would not be of the mould to reflect 



68 Through the Turf Smoke 



eternal honour on the proud flag, under 
whose glorious shadow it was their envious, 
unpurchasable, etc., privilege to march. But 
very evidently the malicious grumblers, who 
would so slander the Prince of Wales' Own, 
never saw those gallant troops marching to 
dinner — hay foot, straw foot, right foot, left 
— or each struggling manfully in the last 
ditch with his seventeenth bottle, else the 
lips of the vile slanderers had on those points 
been sealed et in secula seculorum. It must 
indeed be admitted that in the Prince of 
Wales' Own Donegal Militia the undue famil- 
iarity which, we are told in the proverb, is 
apt to breed contempt, obtained rather much 
between the non-commissioned officers and 
the privates for the three-quarters of the 
year during which they were gentle and 
peaceable civilians, waxing their ends, knot- 
ting their threads, philosophising at street 
corners, pedestrianising for — for — health, I 
suppose, and profit; collecting bric-a-brac 
and antiques in exchange for pins and 
needles; bird-fancying — a pleasant and 
gentle vocation which they usually followed 
by the silvery light of the horned moon; and 



Prince of Wales' Donegal Militia 69 



the other multifarious pursuits in which the 
soldier-civilian during his long vacation 
takes a part. As a consequence of the fa- 
miliarity so begotten, when they donned the 
uniform they unfortunately did not sink the 
civilian in the soldier, and the respect paid 
by the private to his sergeant was in many 
instances just not such as was due to a mili- 
tary superior. Indeed, if the truth must be 
told, perhaps the sergeant or the corporal did 
not always preserve that dignity and hauteur 
towards his subordinates which is usually of 
necessity affected by men of rank to inspire 
those beneath them with respect and awe. 
As — pray listen: 

" Number Twinty-wan, will ye hould yer 
gun erackt — don't think it's a hatchet ye 
have in yer hand goin' to knock down a pig. 
Do ye hear me, Dolan? " 

" Troth, I do hear ye, Sarjint; it isn't hard 
to hear ye this wee while; ye make more 
noise lately than ye used to do leapin' off the 
table." 

A hearty subdued laugh ripples along the 
line. 

" Number Twinty-wan, I'll make it 



70 Through the Turf Smoke 



hot for ye afore ye go home to Susy 
again." 

" No need, Sarjint, a vie, makin' it hot for 
me — it's not a goose ye have in it. I'm not 
frettin' about gettin' back to Susy, aither; I 
know she can live rightly, for I left plinty of 
cabbage behind for her." 

" Ye're a deep scoundhril, Dolan." 

"Not as deep as a tailyer^s thimble, Sar- 
jint." 

"FU thrash the sowl out of ye some 
day." 

"Baste it out of me, ye mane? " 
"Yer onsobordinate, sir." 
" Say that one again, Sarjint; it's a 
thumper, wherever ye come by it." 
Then elsewhere — 
" Stand at aise, Three-an'-thirty." 
" I am at aise." 

a Thurn out yer right toe," curtly. 
" That's not yer right toe, ye omadhaun ye; 
do ye know the toe ye bliss yerself with — 
the hand, I mane. Thurn out the toe of 
that hand — the toe of that fut." 

"But I don't bliss meself with me fut, 
Corplar." 



Prince of Wales' Donegal Militia 71 



" Number Three-an'-thirty, thurn out the 
right toe of yer right fut immaijetly." 

" Have a bit of raison with ye, Corplar 
Muldoon; sure, haven't I five toes on me 
right fut, an' I'm blowed if I know which of 
the five ye want me to thurn out." 

" Thurn out yer right fut immaijetly, 
M'Guiggan, or I'll have ye drum-headed, ye 
scoundhril." 

" There's me right foot out now. I didn't 
like for you to go an' reflict on me foot by 
evenin' to me that I had only the one toe on 
it." 

" Hould yer tongue, sir." 
" HI have to let go the gun if I do." 
"I'll take the uniform off ye, M'Guig- 
gan." 

" Ye couldn't." 
"Couldn't I?" 

" No, for ye haven't got yer pins* about 

ye." 

" I'll take the uniform off ye, sir, an' I'll 
give ye—" 

" Twelve rows of pins, at laist; divil a toe 

* Rag-pickers give rows of pins in exchange for the 
wares they receive. 



72 Through the Turf Smoke 



it 'ill go into yer bag this day for less, Cor- 
plar." 

u Ye're a low-lifed scrub, M'Guiggan." 
" Thankee, Misther Muldoon; ye can keep 
that yerself." 
Also — 

ftf Shouldher arms! » 
" Shouldher arms, Three-score! " 
" Sure I am shoulderin' them as fast as I 
can." 

" It takes ye the divil of a long time to 
do it, then; an' yer as awkward-lookin' at it 
as a monkey playin' the piano. Numbers 
Two-score-an'-nineteen, an' Three-score-an'- 
wan, plaise shouldher arms to show Three- 
score how to do it with grace. Do ye ob- 
sarve that, Three-score?" 

" Och, I obsarve it; but do you obsarve 
that I don't thank aither of them boys to do 
it with grace. Two-score-an'-nineteen is 
used at shouldhering his budget; an' Three- 
score-an'-wan is a butcher, an' sure ye nivir 
yit knew a butcher that wasn't graise from 
the sole of his head to the crown of his 
foot — from the crown of his sole, I mane, 
to the head of — I mane from the foot of 



Prince of Wales' Donegal Militia 73 



his crown to — to — Ye know what I 
mane." 

"Faix, it would be afther takin' a purty 
smart man to know what yon mane — barrin' 
when yer hungry; ye make people undher- 
stan' that quick enough." 

" Ay, Sarjint, a vie, it's e like masther like 
man/ ye know." 

" Shouldher yer arms, sir, and keep that 
extinsive mouth of yours closed, or Fll be 
able to see nothing behind it." 

" Closed it is, sir; an' I'd always oblige ye 
by keeping it out of yer light if I could only 
know when ye're lookin' this way — but that 
same isn't aisy, troth, from the deuced con- 
thrairy way them purty pair of eyes of yours 
has of lookin' across aich other." 

" I'll have ye removed out of yer ranks, 
sir, and put undher guard." 

" Well, I'll thank Providence an' you for 
the happy relaise." 

It happened on one sunny day in a sunny 
June of the time heretofore hinted at, that 
Colonel Bloodanfire, having distinguished 
guests, resolved to entertain them by a field 
day and general review of his gallant Done- 



74 Through the Turf Smoke 

gals. In his cups, on the previous night, he 
had committed himself to several compre- 
hensive and sweeping statements regarding 
the discipline and courage of his beloved 
regiment — statements which, viewed in the 
cold and searching light of day, rather aston- 
ished the gallant colonel himself, presenting 
as they did a somewhat different aspect from 
that which they bore when only the red 
glamour of the wine fell upon them. But 
Bloodanflre was a man of his word; with him 
there was no retrospection when once he had 
put his hand to the plough, or even to the 
bow — the long one. His character and the 
character of his regiment were at stake, and 
he was resolved all should put their best foot 
foremost — be the same either the foot dec- 
orated with the hay-band, or the one orna- 
mented with the straw; for so were his intel- 
ligent and courageous fellows ingeniously 
aided in distinguishing respectively the right 
foot and the left. Accordingly, a council of 
war, alike of the commissioned and the non- 
commissioned officers, was called on the 
morning of the great, the eventful day, at 
which the Colonel laid before his subordi- 



Prince of Wales' Donegal Militia 75 

nates the state of affairs, and urged upon 
them the pressing need of making on that 
day a special effort to far excel all their 
brightest records of the past, and with 
united will, by a long pull, a strong pull, 
and a pull all together, at once pull the 
regiment through the ordeal satisfactorily, 
and pull him out of his dilemma. By a 
judicious use of corkscrews, he screwed 
their courage to the sticking point, and each 
man became loud, in fact very loud, not to 
say noisy, in his protestations and declara- 
tions of using his every endeavour to make 
that a red-letter day in the annals of the 
Prince of Wales' Own Donegal Militia. And 
they kept their word, only too well. 

It was well advanced in the forenoon, al- 
most bordering on the afternoon, when the 
regiment, which had been under arms all 
morning, was marched out to an extensive 
plain a short distance from the Barracks. 
The Colonel's guests, both ladies and gentle- 
men, were there to witness the celerity and 
the extraordinary military talents, of which 
they had heard so much, of the boasted 
regiment. The Colonel, informing his 



76 Through the Turf Smoke 

friends that this was his strong point, kept 
his men for some hours marching and coun- 
termarching, forming and wheeling; and 
going through again and again the element- 
ary drill, which they did with eclat. At 
least the Colonel said it was with eclat; an 
enemy to the Colonel, and to the fair fame 
of this gallant body of men, who happened 
to be on the ground, however, said that eclat 
must in that case be French for noise. The 
Colonel had, so far, been nervously endeav- 
ouring to stave off, as far as possible, the 
event of the day, a sham battle between two 
sections of his men, the probable result of 
which he could only anticipate with fear and 
trembling; and he thought if he could only 
keep it back, the sky might fall, or the earth 
open, or fire and brimstone come down and 
consume the whole dodgasted concern, any- 
thing, anything — he was careless and reck- 
less as to their mode of final and complete 
extinction — only let them be annihilated 
somehow, and his credit saved. But, unfor- 
tunately, after he had kept off the critical 
action till his guests had begun to upbraid 
him with delay, and his stomach to reproach 



Prince of Wales' Donegal Militia 77 

him with neglect, and his men to grumble 
audibly, asking to have even a bit of dinner 
carried out to them in a red handkerchief, 
for that their bellies were bidding their 
backs " good-morrow " — after he had thus 
earned ill-will on all hands, and the fates 
and elements had successfully failed to 
perform a diversion on his account, such as 
he piously prayed for, and both earth and 
sky still doggedly remained unmoved, he was 
at length compelled to give the dreaded 
order for the division of the regiment into 
two sections, for the purpose of engaging in 
the bloodless encounter, one section standing 
motionless to receive and repel the charge 
of the other. The brave fellows on each 
side, goaded by the cravings of their stom- 
achs, feeling far more deadly enmity towards 
the Colonel than towards each other, al- 
though about to engage in mortal conflict, 
now raised their voices in noisy protest 
against the inhumanity of making them fight 
on empty stomachs. The battle must go on 
though. The Colonel determined to meet 
his fate like a man. A hurried whispering 
might have been observed going on amongst 



78 Through the Turf Smoke 



the Colonel's friends. One of them, a young 
fellow, with a humorous twinkle in his eye, 
slipped away, unobserved by the Colonel, and 
left the field. The two divisions, not indeed 
very blood-thirsty looking, but porter-and- 
beer-thirsty enough, faced each other at a 
respectful distance. The order, so long 
withheld, was at length given to the attack- 
ing party; forward they moved, first at the 
quick, then at the double quick. Things be- 
gan to get exciting. The attitude of the 
approaching columns did now certainly be- 
gin to look threatening to those who awaited 
their attack, with growing trepidation and 
indecision, in front. Very evidently the on- 
coming party, being in a bad humour, were 
resolved to make some one pay the piper; 
the motionless party saw this and quailed. 
The space between them was short, and rap- 
idly diminishing; another minute, and the 
crash would come, and — 

Ding! Dong! Ding! 
The party to a man came to an instantaneous 
halt! It was the great dinner-gong whose 
surprising tones rang out so suddenly and 
unexpectedly! Now! what — 



Prince of Wales' Donegal Militia 79 

Ding!! Dong!! Ding!! 
Both parties glanced instinctively towards 
the Barracks, and then towards each other, 
and — 

DING!!! DONG!!! DING!!! 
The imperative tones of that last overcame 
any little scruples that might have existed 
in their minds. The order of the dinner- 
gong was the first order that the Prince of 
Wales' Own Donegal Militia had learnt to 
obey with alacrity. However dilatory they 
may have been in performing other, as 
simple, manoeuvres, that consequent upon 
the sound of the mid-day gong was picked 
up and gone through with a readiness and 
tact which verily astounded the drill-ser- 
geants. Never had the sound of the gong 
been so welcome to their ears. Would they 
disobey? Decidedly not! With a "Hip!" 
"Whoop!" and "Hurroo!" they fled and 
they sped, helter-skelter, quick and quicker, 
over ditch and dyke, hedge and fence, with- 
out stay or pause, till pell-mell they tumbled 
into the Barrack-yard, panting and gasping 
and struggling for breath. 

Poor Bloodanfire had to affect joining in 



8o Through the Turf Smoke 



the hearty and rapturous peal of laughter 
that burst from his friends, and accompanied 
them to dinner, having nothing else for it. 
When dinner was over his guests lost no time 
in urging upon him the necessity of getting 
out his flying squadron (at whose atrocious 
breach of discipline he determined to merely 
wink) once more for the promised encounter. 
So after they had ravenously devoured their 
meal, the Prince of Wales' Own Donegal 
Militia were again marched out for the dread 
encounter. The Colonel and his friends 
took up a commanding position on the field, 
the offensive and defensive ranks faced each 
other, word was passed along the lines that 
Colonel Bloodanfire expected every man that 
day to do his duty. The command was at 
length given, and the attacking party now 
started at the double quick. The effects of 
a hearty dinner and a bottle of porter had 
produced a reaction, exalting their spirits; 
so they soon increased their pace to the 
treble quick, every man of them itching for 
the chance of lathering the sowl out of an 
opponent. But their opponents, having to 
stand cold-bloodedly awaiting the attack, had 



Prince of Wales' Donegal Militia 81 



not that stimulant to courage which a hot 
race at an enemy ever begets; on the con- 
trary, they fidgeted and murmured, and what 
courage they had been possessed of, began to 
ooze out, like Bob Acres'. The other party 
neared them; misgivings, many and serious, 
took hold of them; they looked behind them, 
looked at the Colonel, finally once more at 
the oncoming whirlwind, and with one im- 
pulse, as one man, they executed a right- 
about-face movement with a promptitude 
and expedition that they had seldom exhib- 
ited on the parade ground, and fled! Yes, 
they fled, with even a swifter pace than what 
they had shown in obedience to the dinner- 
gong. They fled far, far away, over the 
field, over a crowd of loungers who had come 
to see the day's sport, over hedge and over 
ditch, till they had got well out of the battle- 
field. The Colonel, seeing this, boiled over, 
his friends got hysterical with laughter; then 
the Colonel got scarlet, and white, and 
purple, and black. He swore loudly, and the 
officers of the retreating division swore 
loudly in sympathy, and halloed and shouted 
after their fast retreating forces, who, how- 
6 



82 Through the Turf Smoke 



ever, had neither time nor inclination to lis- 
ten to orders. I intimated that the whole 
division fled, which was not exactly correct; 
for one valiant private, Donal M'Glanaghy, 
Number Two-score-and-five, held his ground 
dauntlessly like a man and a soldier, and by 
repelling (with the sole aid of his soldierly 
bearing) the attacking force, which retreated 
from the attack in high good humour, thus 
earned for himself the glory which other- 
wise had been distributed over half a regi- 
ment. 

When the flying squadron had been over- 
taken by their officers, and by the Colonel, 
who pursued them hotly also, and sur- 
rounded and brought back to the field — for 
the Colonel was determined now to have the 
manoeuvre out, at any cost — and hotly and 
roundly rated, and their deep disgrace, and 
the disgrace they had brought upon their 
regiment and their Colonel, and even their 
country, in the eyes of the satirical strangers, 
had been painted to them in very glowing, or 
— I might plainly say — in red hot, words, by 
their naturally enraged Colonel, they were 
told that now, under pain of the severest 



Prince of Wales' Donegal Militia 83 

penalties court-martial could inflict on them 
severally, they must receive and repel the 
attack. The two divisions were again 
formed, the order given, and the attackers 
came on a third time. 

" Holy Moses! " said one of the defensive 
party, as the others swiftly approached, " do 
ye obsarve the look of mischief in Condy 
M'Garry's eye?" referring to one of the 
attacking party. 

" Throth an' I do," said a neighbour of the 
speaker's. "I see a look of murder in his 
eye; an' the same lad isn't to be thrusted. Be 
the same token he has the ould spite into 
you since the night of the shindy down at 
Monaghan's, when ye gave him the nate 
little bit of a dinge on the skull. Look at 
the eye he has in his head now; as sure as 
there's powder in Darry he manes to give ye 
a knock — look out for yourself! " 

" Be the powdhers, then, he'll not have it 
all for nothing! he'll get the same sauce that 
he gives, with, maybe, more spices in it. 
Here's at ye, M'Garry, ye sowl ye! Whir- 
roo! " And he hereupon sprang forward 
from the ranks to meet the attack, and with 



84 Through the Turf Smoke 



clubbed musket levelled the wholly-innocent 
Condy. 

"A-hoo!" "Hip!" "Hurroo!" "Fag-a- 
ballagh! " That, and not the officers' orders, 
was the real signal for the attack. There 
was now some motive to fight for, and some 
real tangible benefit to accrue from thus 
fighting, far better than a mock affair in 
which poor fellows playing at acting on the 
defensive could only experience dread and 
uncertainty at the formidable and armed 
host hurled against them, and who might 
mean sham or reality just as circumstances 
would, on the spur of the moment, prompt. 
Besides, here was an opportunity, a grand 
opportunity, for them to cover their late dis- 
grace. Providentially, the means of vindi- 
cating their fame is thrown in their way, and 
they must take advantage of it. They hesi- 
tated not, but threw themselves at once, with 
their muskets clubbed, on their opponents, 
who in their turn entered as warmly and 
heartily into the spirit of the thing as could 
be desired. It was utterly useless for the 
Colonel to go about raging and stamping and 
swearing, with the officers bawling, and haul- 



Prince of Wales' Donegal Militia 85 



ing, and pulling, and striking right, left, and 
centre — all was quite useless. Both sides 
pitched into each other with a spirit that 
left not the strangers in a moment's doubt 
as to whether or not there was courage in 
the Prince of Wales' Own Donegal Militia. 
They slashed and smashed, struck, prodded, 
parried, and crashed, yelled, and shrieked, 
bellowed, cheered, and halloed, giving every 
evidence of being engaged in one of the fierc- 
esf encounters witnessed on a European 
battlefield since memorable Waterloo. And 
after a long and stiff struggle the " defen- 
sive" party drove their attackers clear out 
of the field, and in a deep ditch beyond they 
pommelled, till they were tired and wearied, 
at all who could not succeed in escaping. 

On the following morning there was as- 
sembled on parade a highly picturesque, 
motley, and vagrant-looking crew, with the 
value of a little fortune in sticking-plaster 
ornamenting their broken features, listening 
to a severe harangue from a highly-enraged 
Colonel. 

"And now, Number Forty-five," said the 
Colonel, when he had used up all the threat- 



86 Through the Turf Smoke 



erring, as well as vituperative, language the 
English tongue vouchsafed; "and now, Num- 
ber Forty-five, Donal M'Glanaghy," said the 
Colonel, " kindly step forward." 

Donal — the hero who had valiantly held 
his ground on the previous day at the second 
attack, when the remainder of his comrades 
had so disgracefully fled — Donal now stepped 
forward with one arm in a sling, one eye 
closed and black, and a ridge of sticking- 
plaster extending from his nose to his right 
ear. He raised his sound arm in salute. 

"Private Donal M'Glanaghy," said the 
Colonel, " when your unworthy comrades on 
yesterday disgraced themselves, their regi- 
ment, and me, you alone held your ground 
in a manner of which I was proud, in a man- 
ner which reflected the greatest credit upon 
your training and upon yourself, and which" 
— and here the Colonel stamped and threw 
a fierce look at the dilapidated ranks before 
him — " and which can not be permitted to 
go unrewarded. Say what would you wish 
as a recognition of your sterling manliness." 

Donal blushed, touched his cap, and 
said, — > 



Prince of Wales' Donegal Militia 87 



"Well, yer honour, Colonel, Fm thinkin' 
maybe ye'd be afther givin' me the Victhory 
Crass. I b'lieve it's given in reward for such 
actions." 

"What! the Victoria Cross!" said the 
Colonel, taken aback. " The Victoria Cross! 
Oh, but you know, my good man, that is an 
honour only given as the very highest and 
greatest reward for the most daring and 
valiant action a British soldier could per- 
form. The Victoria Cross! Oh, no, no, my 
good man, that is far beyond my power. 
You will have to ask something else, some- 
thing more moderate, something more in 
reason." 

"Well, then, Colonel, yer honour," said 
Donal, touching his cap again and standing 
erect, " if ye couldn't give me the Victhory 
Cross, maybe, Colonel, yer honour, ye could 

GIVE ME AN OULD HALF-WORN" PAIR 0* 
THROUSERS YE'D HAVE NO MORE USE FOR ! " 



Barney Roddy's Penance 



Barney Roddy's Penance 



Baeney was not naturally bad. Take him 
in the round, and, I daresay, he had full as 
many virtues as the average Irishman. But 
the fact is, he was inveterately addicted to 
ribbing. Still, his stories were invented with 
the very laudable object of entertaining his 
listeners. If Barney could not invite you to 
his own home, there to help him partake of 
a good dinner or a warm supper — simply be- 
cause he had no home — he did the next best 
thing in his power, and strung a good thump- 
ing lie into a rather enjoyable yarn, and 
then and there treated you to it. I cannot 
say — I never could find out — whether Bar- 
ney expected you, in return for his kindness, 
to put any degree of faith in these yarns. 
Some held that he did. But, be Barney's 
wishes what they might on that subject, I 
am certain that no one ever did believe one 



92 Through the Turf Smoke 



of his stories — unless, indeed, it was some 
innocent stranger whom Barney got into his 
hands. "It's as thrue as one of Barney 
Roddy's yarns/' passed into a proverb in that 
part of Donegal which Barney honoured with 
his residence, and signified that the state- 
ment in question was a forty o. p. lie. 

"Barney/' said I, one evening in harvest 
— as I took my seat on the whin ditch beside 
which he was digging potatoes for Mickey 
Eoarty — " Barney, it's a great wonder to me 
you never married." 

" Is it, faix? " And Barney dug on with 
seemingly increased energy for the space of 
five minutes, during which time I was care- 
ful not to disturb him. 

"Is it, faix?" he queried again, as he 
crossed his arms on the spade and looked me 
squarely in the face. " Maybe it's me that 
was married! an' well married, too! Hagh! 
Ay, it wasn't to one I was married at all, 
but to a dozen of them! To a dozen divils, 
an' ivery one of them worse nor the other! " 
saying which he plunged his spade viciously 
into the ridge, and resumed his digging in 
a fierce manner. 



Barney Roddy's Penance 93 



"What do you mean, Barney?" said I, 
for I saw that he now only wanted the invi- 
tation to commence spinning a yarn; " sure, 
if you married a dozen you would be trans- 
ported for polygamy." 

" I nivir had anything to say to the girl, 
thanks be to Providence! " 

"Never had anything to say to what 
girl?" 

" Polly Gammer." 

" Oh! Barney, you mistake me. Poly- 
gamy means the marrying of a great number 
of wives. How do you mean to say that 
you could marry a dozen?" 

"I don't know if there was a dozen. There 
was eight of them anyhow, I daresay; but 
I nivir counted them." 

"And what tempted you to marry eight 
wives? " 

" It was pinance for my sins." 

" I should say that was a severe penance. 
I have known men who had only one wife, 
and they allowed their life was a burthen to 
them." 

" Throth, then, them men*s life was a 
Garden of Aiden compared to mine for the 



94 Through the Turf Smoke 



ten days I was in the blissed state of 
matthermony. I married my wife out of 
purgathory — St. Pathrick's purgathory* — 
and I had to take all her sisthers an' aunts, 
for sivin jinnyrations back into the bargain, 
an' be me socks I got me fill of them. It 
was a sevair pinance! " 

" Tell me all about it, Barney." 

" Give us a shough of that pipe. Thanky. 
Keep yer eye about ye for fear ye'd find 
Micky Eoarty comin', an' give me warnin'; 
for he's a dhirty bear, an' thinks if he gives 
a man a shillin' a day with praties an' point, 
he thinks you should make a black neygar 
of yerself an' work the very sowl out through 
yer body for him; if he sees ye liftin' yer 
head to say 6 God save ye ' to a naybour 
passin' the way, ye'd think he'd jump down 
yer throat." Here Barney seated himself 
comfortably on a head of cabbage, and puff- 
ing the pipe like a steam engine, he com- 
menced. 

" Well, to yock at the beginnin', ye see it 
was the time I lived in Tyrone, afore I come 
into this counthry, a party of us, naybours, 

* Lough Derg. 



Barney Roddy's Penance 95 



was eomin' back from the fair of Dhrimore, 
an' be the same token, there wasn't a man 
in the party that wasn't rather gay; an when 
we come as far as Nancy Hannigan's my 
throat was as dhry as a lime-burner's hat, 
an' I said we wouldn't pass it till we'd know 
what sort of stuff Nancy had in the wee keg. 
No sooner said nor done. We knocked up 
Nancy in a gintale way be puttin' in the door 
with a rock, an' afther Nancy thrated us for 
our kind attintions, we got into a wee bit of 
verrins (variance) as regards which of us was 
the best man. There was a weeny bit of a 
tailyer, the size of two good thurf an' a clod, 
an' he got up on the table, whin the argy- 
mint was at its highest, an' he commenced 
abusin' ivery man of the party with langidge 
a dog wouldn't take off his hands, an' he 
said if he had only his own lapboord he'd 
clear the house of ivery mother's sowl of us, 
while he'd be sayin' Jack Eobinson. Troth, 
the impidence of the wee rascal put us to a 
stan' for a minute, an' when I got me breath 
agane, I took the wee brat by the scroof of 
the neck an' threw him out of the door, an' 
as he was flyin' out I give him just a nate 



96 Through the Turf Smoke 



little nap with me stick that happened to 
crack his skull. But we did what we could 
for him — ordhered a nice coffin, an' ex- 
pended tuppence-ha'penny to have it painted 
black; give him a rousin' wake; an' then the 
funeral was somethin' to open yer eyes! We 
got six other tailyers to carry him on lap- 
boords, an' berred him with a goose at his 
head. It was more than the wee divil de- 
sarved; but seein' that he met with the wee 
mistake in our company, we thought we 
would do things square by him, an' we knew 
the display would be a consolation to his 
widda. Well, of coorse, I thought it was all 
over an' past; but what would ye have iv it, 
but Father Luke kicked up such a shindy 
over the affair, that he'd almost laive ye 
ondher the impression there was nivir a 
man's skull cracked in the North of Irelan' 
for a hundred years afore. An' it would be 
enough, too, if it was a man's skull that was 
cracked, and not sich a dawny wee sickly 
droich of a thing. Howan'ivir, the upshot 
of the whole thing was that Father Luke 
ordhered me to Lough Dharrig (Derg) to do 
pinance. 



Barney Roddy's Penance 97 



" Well, when the time come round, I spit 
on me stick, an' made for the Lough. An' 
maybe I hadn't a high ould time of it there. 
Pinance! Throgs ye'd niver know what 
pinance is till ye'd go to Lough Dharrig. 
The Lord forgive me, it's often when I 
should be sayin' a mouthful of prayers for 
the sowl of the wee tailyer, it's often I'm 
afeard it was inventin' new curses for him 
I was. Sweet good luck to him if I didn't 
suffer in Lough Dharrig that tarm for him! 
Thundher and thumps, I had a corn on my 
feet fornenst ivery day of the week, an' it's 
as careful I was about them corns, as I would 
be about my own mother; but the usage 
they met in Lough Dharrig, throttin' thim 
Stations on me bare feet, was enough to 
dhraw tears from a stone. Ye'd think ivery 
pebble on the path was spayshally sharpened 
agane my arrival, an' whin wan of me corns 
would come down atop of a pebble that had 
a corner on it as sharp as a fish-hook, I 
would give a yell, an' jump the height of 
meself, jist landin' down with another corn 
atop of the next stone! Between the yellin' 
and the skippin' I'm thinkin' that ye might 



98 Through the Turf Smoke 



put my prayers in yer weskit pocket without 
much throuble to ye. There was one ould 
voteen, an' he had a skin to the sole of his 
own foot that was as tough as a donkey's 
hoof, an' when I jumped, an' yelled, an' come 
down maybe atop of some of me naybours, 
he would say — the infarnal scoundhril! — 
that I was a disgrace to the place, an' that 
I should be put out. Then, the night I had 
to sit up in the chapel — och, that was the 
tarror intirely! Whin I was bobbin' over 
me head, an' foun' I couldn't houl' out any 
longer, I said to meself I would jist close 
me eye for three winks; but the words were 
scarcely out of me mouth when, by Jimminy! 
the same ould voteen gives me a rap over the 
skull with a crosshin of a stick that I thought 
he lifted the top of the head clane off me. 
I thurned on him an' I gave him a look that 
would split a stone wall. 6 It's for the good 
of yer sowl/ siz he. ' Throth,' siz I, ' it may 
be for the good of me sowl, but it's not for 
the good of me crown. An' me good man,' 
siz I, 'if it was any other place but the 
groun' ye're in, maybe ye wouldn't be so 
handy with yer stick. For three fardins/ 



Barney Roddy's Penance 99 



siz I, ( I would take it from ye an' give ye 
the father an' mother of a good soun' blaich- 
inV siz I, 'ye snivelling ugly-lookin' scare- 
crow ye! ' But all the norrations I could 
praich to him wasn't a bit of use; he'd just 
turn up his eyes lake a duck in thunder, an' 
no surer would I thry to close an eye agane 
but he lit on me with his crossliin; an' he 
stuck to me all night, an' no matther what 
part of the chapel I moved to, to get out of 
his way, he was at me shouldher agane in a 
jiffey, with the whites of his eyes thurned 
on me, an' he waggin' the crosshin at me 
iviry time he caught me eye. Be me socks, 
my sowl seemed to be of far more consarn 
to him than his own. Well, in the mornin', 
glory be to Providence, I had nallions on me 
head the size of yer two fists, an' I swore that 
if ivir I'd meet the natarnal vagabond out- 
side of the island, I would give the poorhouse 
carpenther a job on his coffin. The sarra 
saize me, but I had murdher in me heart! 
an' little wondher — for me head wasn't 
sound for three-quarthers of a year afther. 

" Howan'ivir, I soon got into betther 
humour, an' forgot all about me head, be- 



loo Through the Turf Smoke 



kase I got an intherduction to Nelly Mori- 
arty, a widdy woman, with a snug sittin' 
down not far from me own townlan' at home. 
Nelly, as I thought — poor deludhered fool 
that I was! — Nelly was purty good to look 
at. She had cheeks as red as fresh-painted 
cart-wheels, an' ivery other accomplishment 
accordin' to that. But there's no denyin' it, 
the three cows' grass that I knew her to have 
made her look a long sight purtier in my 
eyes, an' the short an' the long of it was, 
that afore I left the island I put me comether 
on Nelly, an' afther blarneyin' her up, I puts 
the word to her, an' faix we settled it all up 
square. 

"Holy St. Pathrick! but I was the on- 
common great ass! I thought we'd be as 
happy as the days were long; an' I said to 
meself, ' Barney, me boy,' siz I, i yer jist 
settled for life; and it's nivir a hand's thurn 
ye'll have to work more, but jist put yer two 
hands in yer pockets and go about like a 
gintleman. Nelly, be coorse,' siz I, 'with 
her three cows' grass 'ill support ye lake a 
Prence o' Wales, an' the longest day in sum- 
mer ye can throw yerself on the back of the 



Barney Roddy's Penance 101 

hill — on the three cows' grass — an' lie there 
in the sun, whistlin' jigs agane the larks, an' 
snappin' yer fingers at the worl' an' the 
divil.' But och, it's little I knew what was 
in store for me. An' Nelly Moriarty, it's 
mistaken I was in you intirely! An' I soon 
foun' that out when I married into the fam- 
ily. When she fetched me home afther the 
weddin', the sarra saize me if I could a'most 
make my way in of the door, for it was 
crammed from the hearth to the threshel 
(threshold) with sisthers, an' aunts, an' 
mothers, an' gran'mothers, an' the divil him- 
self only knows how many other faymale re- 
lations, all subsistin' on the three cows' 
grass ! ' Be the hokey,' thinks I to meself , 
when I seen the congregation — 'be the 
hokey, I'll soon make a scattherment on the 
nest.' But it was all the other way roun'. 
For the first week I couldn't complain much, 
barrin' that I had too many masters; but I 
didn't grumble much at that yet, for I flat- 
thered meself that I would thurn the tables, 
as soon as I'd get me footin' made, an' I'd 
make them go packin' in detachmints. In 
another week, I sayed to meself, if they did- 



102 Through the Turf Smoke 



n't stop their jaw, I would show them the 
hole the mason made — which is the door. 
But movrone, what would ye have of it but 
poor Barney's plans went asliaughrin. Ye 
see, just to oblige the wife, I used to get 
up first in the mornin' an' put on the fire 
for them, an' make the wee drap of tay; an' 
throth if there had been a bit of rat-poison 
any way handy I would have sweetened a 
good many of the bowls with it. But in the 
coorse of a week, I thought I would com- 
mence to show I was masther of the house 
an' the three cows' grass. So, next mornin', 
when Nelly hilloes in my ear, — 

" ' Barney! ' siz she. 

"'What? 'siz I. 

" i Are ye awake ? ' siz she. 

" < I'm not,' siz I. 

z< i Ye're a liar,' siz she. 

u c p m ag soun > asleep as a bull-frog,' siz I. 

" ( Come/ siz she, ' none of yer nadiums, 
but get up and put on the fire.' 

" e I think I hear you, ma'am,' siz I. 

"'What?' siz she, f ye lazy, good-for- 
nothin' scrub ye, do ye mane to say ye're 
not goin' to do as ye're bid? ' 



Barney Roddy's Penance 103 

" ' Throgs,' siz I, ( there'll be two moons 
in the sky, an' one in the du'ghill, when ye 
get me to put on a fire for ye.' 

" Faix the word wasn't fairly out of me 
mouth, when, without sayin' dhirum or 
dharum, she ups with her fist an' the next 
minnit there was more stars dancin' afore me 
eyes than ivir I seen on a frosty night — she 
left me as purty a black eye as ye'd maybe 
ax to look at. "Well, I didn't argy the quis- 
tion with Nelly, but got up an' put on the 
fire. 

" Mxt mornin' the praties was to be dug 
for the brakwus. 

" ' Barney,' siz she, ' throw the spade over 
your shouldher, an' go out an' dig a basket 
of tatties.' 

" ' Why,' siz I, that way — for I was just 
what ye'd know afeared — ' why,' siz I, ( whin 
me mother was alive long ago (rest her 
sowl!),' siz I, ' she used to go out an' dig the 
brakwus for me herself. Seein' that I was 
always a delicate sort of boy, she allowed the 
mornin' air didn't agree with me goin' out 
on the bare stomach.' 

" ' An' she sayed that? ' siz Kelly, raichin' 



104 Through the Turf Smoke 

her han' for the beetle. 'Ye're a delicate 
boy, throth — except at male times — and we 
must harden ye a bit/ an' with that she let 
fly the beetle at me head, as I was makin' for 
the door; an' — do ye see that mark?" said 
Barney, exhibiting to me the track of a 
wound over one eye, which, to my own 
knowledge, he got in a drunken squabble 
only a fortnight before. 

" Yes," said I, " I see that. But I was of 
opinion it was Harry Hudy gave you that 
the night you had the little scrimmage below 
at Inver." 

"Oh, were ye of that opinion, faix?" 
returned Barney, slightly nonplussed. 
" There's many an opinion you have — it's a 
pity they're not worth much. Harry Hudy 
did give me a blow there, but then it was the 
ould wound he opened." 

" Oh, that explains it," said I. 

" Well, Nelly hadn't to ax me the second 
time to dig the tatties. I went out an' done 
it as soon as I got meself gathered up again, 
an' I went afterwards to Dr. M'Clintock an' 
got thirteen stitches in the split she made in 
me head. Throth, the doctor could tell ye, 



Barney Roddy's Penance 105 

ye could ram yer two fists into the hole was 
in it! Howan'ivir, I seen there was two 
sides to the quistion, an' that Nelly was 
detarmined to be master in her own 
house. 

" The very nixt day there was to be a 
caman match between two townlan's, an' I 
was axed to be one of the players. I tould 
Xelly so the night afore. She tould her 
aunts an' the rest of the congregation that 
they would all go early to see the match. 
' But plaise Providence,' siz she to me, ' it's 
no place for the lake of you, that should be 
doin' for yer sowl, instead of makin' a tom- 
fool of yerself with a crooked kippeen; an' 
ye'll lie in yer bed all day the morra! ' I 
was wise enough to keep me tongue in me 
jaw, an' say nothin'; but in the mornin', sure 
enough, she packed one of her gran'-aunts 
away with me breeches, to hide them in a 
naybour's, and tould me lie in bed all day 
and say me baids. Hirsilf an' the thribe of 
divils she had about her, thricked themselves 
out with ribbands, an' they stharted away 
for the day's sport, for all the world lake a 
dhraper's shop goin' out for an airin'. I lay 



io6 Through the Turf Smoke 

up in bed with no betther amusement than 
countin' the rafthers above me; an' when I'd 
have them all counted, I'd sthart them agane 
in the new, jist to keep me mind occupied; 
but I'm blissed if I didn't soon get tired of 
the same amusement, an' I sayed to meself 
that it was scarcely as good as caman playin'; 
an' I begun to get a trifle restless an' to 
yawn lake as if I wanted to swally the bed- 
posts; an' I sayed, come what might, come 
what may, I would get up an' make meself 
a dhrop of tay. So I jumped out of bed, an' 
for want of betther I hauled myself into 1 a red 
flannel petticoat of Nelly's — och! the sorra 
take me if I'm tellin' ye a word of a lie — 
an' but that was the dear petticoat to me. 
I dhrew on me coat an' waistcoat, an' puttin' 
on me brogues an' socks, I thought to meself 
that I could manage to cuffufle about 
through the house rightly for half an hour, 
in case no one come in. But the red petti- 
coat didn't more nor reach me knees, an' I 
laughed hearty at meself, the purty figure I 
cut, but at the same time I was thrimblin' 
for 'fraid any of the good bo}^s would catch 
me in the John Heelan'-man kilts; so I de- 



Barney Roddy's Penance 107 



tarmined to make for the room if I foun' 
anyone comin\ An', be the holy poker, it's 
not long I had to wait till I heard the thramp 
marchin' up to the dure. In the hoppin' 
of a sparrow I was in the room, with the 
dure closed. 

Barney Roddy? Where are ye, Bar- 
ney? ' was shouted from the kitchen next 
minnit, an' the heart jumped into me mouth, 
for I foun' that it was a party of the caman 
players who come to see what was keepin' 
me. I nivir let on I heard them. 

" ' It's in his bed asleep the lazy blaguard 
must be yet, when he should be in his place 
in the fiel'. Come, to see if we could waken 
him up,' says one of them. Och! sweet 
seventy-nine! Here was I in a purty pickle 
intirely! ' My blessin' on you, Nelly Mori- 
arty, an' if the divil had his own,' siz I to 
meself, ' it's not showing off yer foldherols 
an' fineries ye'd be in a caman fiel' the 
day.' 

" c Barney Eoddy!' agane one of them 
shouts, givin' the room dure a rattle that I 
thought I'd have it in a-top of me — ' Barney 
Roddy, are ye there? or what's wrong with 



io8 Through the Turf Smoke 



ye at all, at all, that ye're not out with yer 
caman an hour ago ? ' 

" I hauls a blanket off the bed, an' rowlin' 
it about me for feard of the worst, I plants 
me back to the room dure, an' thinkin' to 
frighten them away, I shouts back, — 

" ' Och, there's nothing much wrang with 
me, barrin' that I'm in bed with a touch of a 
bed fever I have cotched.' 

" ' Come now,' siz they, ' none of your 
skeegwaggin', but open the dure an' get out 
here to the caman, before we burst the ould 
consarn in on ye/ 

"Ah, the sweat begun to come down me 
face in dhrops the size of a pigeon's egg. 

" ' Can't yez go away like Christians,' siz 
I, ' an' let a poor man die in paice.' 

"But it was no airthly use. They were 
detarmined to have me, an' have me they 
would. So then ivery man put their 
shouldhers to the dure, an' the next minnit 
they were in a-top of me. An' there I stood 
thrimblin' in the middle of the flure, pullin' 
the blanket closer about me. But as me ill 
fortune would have it, doesn't one of the 
lads — there was a whole half-a-dozen of them 



Barney Roddy's Penance 109 



in it — doesn't one of them eye my brogues 
peepin' out from undher the blanket! 

" ' Ah/ siz he, ' here's a go! Does Barney 
Eoddy go to bed in his brogues! Ha, ha! 
he was thryin' to play us a thrick; but we 
know one worth two of that.' 

" ' Ay/ an' siz another blaguard, ' does he 
usually go to bed with his waistcoat an' coat- 
hamore on him?' pullin' open the blanket 
at the breast. 

" i It must be a new midicine for f aver 
patients/ siz another. 

" i No, but Barney wants to die an' be 
berrid in his brogues, sooner nor let any 
other lucky dog step into his shoes, an' get 
the widow/ siz another. 

" ' Ay, an' her twinty-nine aunts/ siz an- 
other. 

" Then they got a hoult of the blanket to 
pull it off me, but I held on to it like grim 
death. 

" i Xiver mind/ siz the ringleader of the 
gang, Archy Magee, ' when he's so fond of 
the blanket we'll laive it with him. Up with 
him on yer shouldhers, boys, just as he is, 
an' give him the frog's march to the caman 



no Through the Turf Smoke 

fiel'; then let him pride out of the good 
colour of his blankets there, if he likes — he'll 
have a repreciative audience.' 

" An' before they give me time to open 
me mouth they had me on their shouldhers, 
wrapped up like a corp in the blanket, an' 
away to the caman fiel' hot foot. They 
joulted the sowl out of me so, that purshuant 
to the one of me could get a word out of me 
mouth till we got to the fiel', with them 
hilloain' an' the crowd cheerin', an' all the 
worl' in commotion to see what they had 
rowled up in the blanket. Down they 
planked me with a hearty cheer in the middle 
of all the spectathors; an' when they pulled 
the blanket off me by main force, och, holy 
Moses, but that was the consthernation! It 
would be hard to tell whether it was them 
or me or the crowd was the most thundher- 
struck, to see Barney Eoddy come out to play 
caman in a red flannen petticoat that come 
down to his knees! 

" I took to me scrapers, an' the crowd just 
only then got their tongues loosed, an' they 
sent up a roar that would make the dead 
play hop-scotch in their coffins, an' they 



Barney Roddy's Penance 1 1 1 

stharted afther poor Barney, hilloain' an' 
shoutin' an' laughin'; but, be me boots, I 
soon distanced them, an' when I got out of 
their sight I made for the nearest house, 
scarin' all the childer was in it clane out of 
the townlan'. I helped meself to the long 
loan of the best pair of throwsers I could 
screenge up in the house; an' shakin' the dust 
of that counthry off me feet, I thurned an' 
bequaithed my left-handed blessin' to Nelly 
Moriarty an' her breed, seed, and jinnyra- 
tion, and left for iver a counthry where I 
could niver more hould up me head to look 
a man sthraight in the face. 

" An' be all that's good there comes that 
misardly scandaverous villain, Mickey 
Eoart}^, an' the neygar 'ill be afther makin' 
me hop for losin' me day sittin' here spinnin' 
lies — I mane to say tellin' histhory passages 
of me life to you. I wish all the crows in 
Connaught would pick that rascally eye out 
of his head, an' the dickens fly away with the 
remaindher of him, for it's him is the bla- 
guard has the bad tongue. — God save ye, 
Misther Eoarty, but this is the purty evenin' 
intirely, isn't it? " 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 

" Dinny Monaghan's, of Keelogs, that's 
where we're bound for; and Hazelton, my 
boy, if you only mind your points it's maybe 
a sergeant you'll be made for this night's 
work. The ould spite between himself an' 
Brannigan, you see, is at work still — more 
power to it — an' we're goin' to reap the 
fruits. Brannigan come in the whole way 
to tell me that they brewed last night, an' 
a mighty big brewin' it was, too — but un- 
known st to him: but he says they have one 
of the kegs still in the house, an' they're 
goin' to have a jorum with some invited nay- 
bours to-night; so we'll just give them a bit 
of a pleasant surprise, an' deil's good cure to 
Monaghan, he's the biggest rascal ever was 
born to stretch hemp. The fox runs long, 
Hazel, my boy — you mind the ould sayin'. 
Many's the thramp he give us for nothin', 



n6 Through the Turf Smoke 



but we'll nip his career, the villain, to-night, 
an' pay him back with compound inthrust. 
Come, Murphy, Short, Hazelton — are ye all 
ready? Mount your big coats, for it's an 
ugly raw night as ivir fell from the heavens. 
Thramp!" 

It was Sergeant M'Golrick, better known 
as " the Black Sergeant," that addressed his 
subs, in the Ballynapooka police station, situ- 
ated among the Donegal hills, upon what 
the sergeant very aptly described as " an 
ugly raw night " in March, 185 — . And 
now, as the four cloaked and armed figures 
disappear from the station in the thick dark- 
ness of the night, I will take the story-teller's 
convenient privilege of whisking my readers 
direct to Dinny Monaghan's cottage in Kee- 
logs, whence, as we come up to the door, 
shouts of mirth and hilarity are heard to 
ring out, as the inmates, all unconscious of 
the impending danger, are commemorating 
the successful brewing of the last " run " of 
mountain dew. As we glide in, and close 
the door upon the chill, foggy night-air with- 
out, a scene meets our view that charmingly 
contrasts with the rank unpleasantness that 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 117 

reigns outdoors. The peat and fir piled high 
upon the hearth shoot upwards merry, play- 
ful, dancing tongues of flame, that send fan- 
ciful shadows wavering over the soot-stained 
rafters aloft, and appear like some blithe, 
shadowy beings looking down upon the revels 
below, with restless delight. There is no 
other light in the cottage, nor is any other 
needed; the remotest corners of the big 
kitchen are sufficiently enlightened by the 
blazing fir, and the merry faces of those who 
form a wide circle round the big, open 
hearth are lit up by the red blaze in a pict- 
uresque manner. You see that short, black- 
whiskered man, with the merry twinkle in 
his eye, who is seated at the upper corner, 
and is now looking side-wise at the half-filled 
glass (with the stem broken off) which he 
holds betwixt his eye and the fire-light — that 
is no other than the redoubtable Dinny him- 
self, the renowned distiller of forbidden liq- 
uors, the " marked man " of innumerable 
generations of peelers, and the inveterate and 
unflinching denouncer and renouncer of Ex- 
cise, Excisemen, magistrates, peelers, and 
police courts, with all their pomps and vani- 



1 1 8 Through the Turf Smoke 



ties. But I daresay you know Dinny and 
all his characteristics without my descrip- 
tion. Who does not? And you must know, 
too, most all the " old, familiar faces " that 
circle around — Paddy Teague and Charley 
the Booshian, and Billy M'Cahill — a lad who 
could run a dhrop of the rale stuff as well 
as the next — Murty Meehan, Mickey Ruadh, 
and the rest of them, not forgetting Mrs. 
Monaghan — Dinny's plump little wife who 
is making herself so busy drawing from the 
" ten-gallon " (that is in the corner above 
her, just behind an unoccupied cradle), and 
replenishing the glasses as they are emptied. 
So we'll just turn our attention to what they 
are saying. 

" Why, Jimmy M'Groarty, did ye get the 
parrylitics in yer arm, or what's the matther 
with ye? You same to have forgot the r'yal 
road to yer mouth; an' throgs if ye have it's 
a bit change come over yer mother's son. 
Tip that dhrop over, avic, and don't be mak- 
in' mouths at it; ye're nursin' it for the last 
half-hour like a sick doll that had caught 
the maisles. Sure ye're not afeard of it? 
It can't be that it's so ill-tasted; I think I 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 119 



made worse dhrops in my career. Over with 
it, man, an' give us a song." 

" Faix, Dinny, you're right there — here's 
may we niver dhrink worse! — Hem! Dinny, 
ye did make worse. With due respects I say 
it. At the same time the worst iver you 
made would earn a repitition (reputation) 
for any honest distiller. But it's seldom ye 
were able to coax anything out of the worm 
to aiqual that. It's for all the worl' like me 
fren' there beyant, Paddy Teague's blarney 
— ha! ha! — it goes down aisy." 

" Throth, Jimmy," replies Paddy, " little 
wondher it goes down aisy with ye — ye're 
payin' nothin' for it." 

This repartee is received with a chorus of 
laughter. 

" By the boots, Paddy, an' it differs from 
your blarney, then." 
* How is that?" 

"Why, Paddy Teague nivir blarneyed a 
man yet — no matther it was his own mother 
— but that man had to pay through the nose 
for it." 

"Ha! ha! ha! ha!" 

"Boys, Jimmy's get tin' witty, wherever 



i2o Through the Turf Smoke 



he larned it. It wasn't at school, anyhow; 
I know that, for ye mind, Jimmy, the 
masther turnin' ye out be the lug, an' 
warnin' ye niver to let him see yer purty 
face again." 

" Ha! ha! What was he thurned out for, 
Paddy?" 

" Och, the ould complaint." 

"What was that?" 

" Why, atin' too much! — I'm sorry, 
Jimmy, avic, to fetch the flush to yer face, 
but—" 

" Paddy, ahaisge, ye don't see any flush 
on my face." 

" Throth, Jimmy, I know we don't see it 
on yer face, but if it was washed we would. 
Ye see, boys, it was the time the relief stir- 
about was givin' out in the bad times, an' 
Jimmy's father, poor man, sent him to school 
to gradyate; but Jimmy, the villain, not 
content with the stirabout, took to atin' the 
numbers off the noggins.* So the masther 
give him siveral public riprimands, but it 
was all no use; he had to turn him out in 
the rear. Indade, it went again the mas- 

* Noggin, a wooden vessel used instead of a bowl. 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 121 



ther's grain to do it, as he said; an' so long 
as Jimmy confined himself to lickirt the nog- 
gins it was of coorse right enough, he said, 
an' saved the expinses of washin' them; but 
he had to be responsible to the Government 
for the noggins, an' that bein' the case, he 
said he couldn't permit a cannyball to re- 
main in his school — you'll excuse me, 
Jimmy, for rememb'rin' this. Keep an eye 
to Billy M'Cahill there, boys, for I'm afeard 
he'll go into fits, he's laughin' that hearty 
at Jimmy." 

" Xo, Paddy asthore, I know what Billy 
is laughin' at; he's thinkin' of the day your 
gran'uncle got invested with the hemp collar 
— the day he danced the double shuffle with- 
out a door anondher his feet, ye mind, an' 
all bekase some of the naybour's sheep took 
a likin' to go to the fair with his own, and 
to get sould among them be mistake. That's 
what Billy's laughin' at. He's thinkin', too, 
how his own gran'father was refused the 
honour of pullin' the cord an' earnin' a 
couple of pounds in the mornin'." 

" Thrue as gospel, Jimmy," Billy inter- 
poses; "but your gran'father was too able 



122 Through the Turf Smoke 



for mine that mornin'. He offered the 
shariff to take the job at half-price, an' 
got it." 

"Ha! ha! ha!" laughs Dinny, with the 
tears actually streaming down his cheeks in 
thorough enjoyment of the fun he had un- 
consciously started. "Ha! ha! ha! Jimmy, 
Fm afeard they'd get too many for ye, ha! 
ha! ha! Yez 'ill ha^ T e to give over the 
sconsirf* till we have a song. Jimmy, clear 
yer throat, like a man, an' rattle us up a 
song." 

"Jimmy M'Groarty's song! Jimmy 
M'Groarty's song! " now resounds from all 
sides. 

" Hould on yez! " interjects Dinny. 
" Mrs. Monaghan, would ye be so kind as 
to replinish our empty glasses with a little 
more goat's milk? We'll relish Jimmy's song 
the betther of it. That's you, thank ye! 
Now, boys, here's Jimmy's health, an' long 
life an' an aisy death to him! " 

" An' may I nivir die in the air, ha! ha! " 
with a significant look at Paddy Teague. 

" An' may he nivir pull the rope at half 

* Chaffing. 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 123 

price, though it is in the blood! " retorts 
Paddy. 

This is received with another good- 
humoured laugh all round, in which 
Jimmy, of course, takes part. The glasses 
are emptied with a delightful rapidity, lips 
are smacked, throats cleared, and Jimmy in- 
- forms them that he is going to give them 
" Paddy Shinaghan's Cow." 

" Bully for ye, Jimmy! " 

Jimmy immediately proceeds to assume 
the regular orthodox singing attitude. A 
man attempting to sing without having a 
voice would scarcely be less unfavourably 
received than a man singing without the 
proper attitude. So, in order to acquire 
this attitude let us attentively observe 
Jimmy. He first crosses the legs, then in- 
sinuates his thumbs into his waistcoat at 
the armpits, leans well back on his chair, 
prospects in the roof for a proper rafter 
at which to pitch his voice — this rafter 
likewise serves for reflectively swaying the 
head, and making appropriate gestures at, 
as well as (apparently) reading the words 
off — and having found a fitting rafter, 



124 Through the Turf Smoke 



Jimmy commences amid an all but breath- 
less silence: — 

" There's a man in Ardaghey both proper an' tall; 
Och, he's wan Paddy Shinaghan, we do him call, 
For he brews the cordial that does exceed all — 
Sure he bates all the docthers aroun' Dinnygal. 

" For if ye were gaspin' and ready to die, 
The smell of it fastin' would lift yer heart high ; 
So hoist it up farther, quite near to your nose — 
Sure an Inver man loves it wheriver he goes ! 

" We can't have a christ'nin' without it at all, 
We dhrink an' sing chorus, shake hands an' sing all. 
Your health now, dear gossip, as I may you call — 
Sure if this be's a ghost, that it may meet us all ! 

" Now, Paddy, the rascal — of late it has been — 
With steam an' hot wather he brewed his poteen ; 
He left it in barrels, as I hear them say, 
But his cow took a notion of dhrinkin' that day! 

a Wirrasthrue ! when the cow, sure, the notion did 
take, 

She first broke the boroch* and then pulled the 
stake, 

Then she dhrunk at the barrels till she dhrunk 

her fill- 
Holy Nelly ! she didn't leave much of the still ! " 

" The sarra take her, but she was fond of 
the sperrits." 
* The rope by which a cow is secured to the stake. 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 125 



"Whisht! whisht! Bedhahosth! Go on, 
Jimmy, ma bouchal!" 

" But when she got dhrunk she began to feel shame, 
An' she says, 1 Paddy Shinaghan ' — call'n' him by 
name — 

' I'm as dhrunk as a beggar, with juice of the malt, 
But Paddy, avourneen, it isn't my fault.' 

" Then she hiccoughed and staggered an' axed Pat 
to fight, 

An' she threatened that through him she'd let in 

the daylight; 
That his breed was all cowards she tould him to 

note, 

An' dared him to tramp on the tail of her coat. 

" Next day she woke up with a bad broken horn, 
And begun for to curse the day she was born ; 
She cursed barley, an' kilty, an' poteen likewise, 
An' cursed all the still-tinkers anondher the skies. 

" She warned all good cows to mind their fair name, 
An' to niver taste dhrink that would fetch them 
to shame, 

An' she whispered to Paddy, an' said in his ear, 
1 Sure ye will not tell Oonah I went on the beer ? 

" 'An' Paddy, ahaisge, if mercy you'll have, 
I'll bring ye each year a fine heifer calf, 
For I am right honest, though found of a spree, 
An' sure, Paddy, ma bouchal, ye're as fond of 't 
as me!' 

" An' Paddy had marcy (we give him renown); 
But when Oonah did milk her, her milk it was 
brown. 



126 Through the Turf Smoke 



' Poor cow, then,' says Oonah, ' it's yer heart's 

blood ye give, 
For ye won't see us wantin' milk while you do live.' 

" Now, we'll dhrink an' be merry, an' forgiye the 
cow ; 

Here's a health to bould Shinaghan, whither or 
how ; 

Let us pray may he never lose head, worm, or still 
On that sanctified place they call Keelog's Hill. 

" Here's a health to myself, an' God save Ireland's 
King ! 

Sure it's me makes the valleys of Keelogs to ring, 
It's me makes the valleys an' taverns to roar — 
Without a dhrop of whisky I can sing no more ! " 

"Bravo! bravo! Bully, ye are! Hurroo! " 
is echoed from all quarters. 

"Mrs. Monaghan — Biddy — fill his glass, 
for he deserves it, in throgs. Fill all our 
glasses when ye're at it, an' we'll dhrink 
Paddy Shinaghan's health. Here's to him, 
boys — good fortune." 

" Throth, an' it's no mane song," says 
Charley the Eooshian, up-ending his glass to 
see that he has drunk it clean. 

" Throth no, Charley; nor he was no mane 
man made it either. It's as purty a rhyme 
as I came acrass for a considherable time," 
says Paddy Teague. 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 127 



" Thrue for ye, Paddy," adds Jimmy; " he 
knew how to make rhymes, that man did." 
" Oh, he was a shupayrior poet. 5 ' 
" Shupayrior? " 

" It's very few of yer *' come all ye's ' ye'd 
get to touch up to it." 

" Thry that for a thrick." 

" Ay, an' the cow, the poor baste, she acts 
so nathural like, just for all the worl' like a 
daicent Christian, axin' Paddy to thramp on 
the tail of her coat, an' all that, an' then 
repintin' next mornin'." 

" Ay; but," interposed Dinny, " meself 
wouldn't like to be a barrel of poteen in her 
way the nixt night again. Ha! ha! " 

" Och, jist like the Christian again, 
Dinny, avourneen." 

"Ha! ha! ha!" 

" Dinny, ahaisge, take you warnin' from 
that song, an' rair up yer cows in the way 
daicent cows should be raired. Don't lay 
timptation, in the shape of a barrel of 
poteen, in their way. There's a brinley cow 
ye have, wid no eyes only one, an' that one 
lookin' crossways with pure divilment, an' I 
wouldn't thrust but she'd go on the spree 



128 Through the Turf Smoke 



in a minnit. She has a rascally bad look 
about her." 

" Nivir fear ye, Mickey, agrah, when I hide 
me poteen he'll be cleverer than a brinley 
cow that 'ill fin' it." 

" Throth, then, the Black Sargint, they 
say, has swore that he'll make ye pay the 
piper yet." , 

" Well, maybe it wouldn't be the first false 
oath he swore, if we'd believe all people say. 
Ha! ha!" 

" He's a born divil. There's no being up 
to his thricks. Dark an' dhirty as the night 
is, I woudn't at all be very much surprised 
to see him openin' the door an' marchin' in." 

" Is it him? He's measlin' his purty shins 
at the barrack fire, plottin' some new mis- 
chief with the divil. He'd think twicet be- 
fore he'd come out such a night as that. 
Biddy, fill us the glasses again; I have one 
other toast to give before I let yez go, boys 
— a toast that I'm sure yez'llall do honour 
to. I'm goin' to toast — thank ye, Biddy! — 
to toast a man whose kindness or whose mor- 
tial great cliverness, or whose love for all 
poteen-makers, I don't know which yez'll 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 129 

most admire. Now, boys, yez'll have to take 
off yer glasses cliverly to it — here's ' The 
Black Sargint.' " 

"Here's the Black Sargint! " was shouted 
— it almost seemed echoed — from the door, 
which was suddenly burst open, and a breath- 
less youngster leaped into the house. 

At the sudden ejaculation from the door, 
every man present experienced a shock that 
fetched him instantaneously to his feet, and 
the mouths that had just opened to laugh at 
the first mention of the epithet were still 
held open in consternation at the second un- 
looked-for, astounding shout of it. 

"Here's the Black Sargint!" the lad re- 
peated. " He's on the top of yez. When I 
seen him an' his men passin' our door, takin' 
the short cut for here, I got out the back 
way, an' off to warn ye; but, bad luck to him, 
he cotched sight of me, an' he didn't let me 
gain much groun' on him. Holy Moses! 
that's the thramp comin' roun' the house." 

" No way of consailin' the keg! " muttered 

Dinny, now as pale as a ghost. " Caught 

at long last, boys! — the jewel are ye, Biddy! 

— there's a chance for Dinny, yet, boys! 
9 



130 Through the Turf Smoke 



There he is, may the dickens take him, the 
black rascal! Off, boys, with every dhrop! " 

During the utterance of the last few 
sentences, the door is repeatedly and loudly 
battered at, and a gruff voice without is 
angrily demanding admittance. It is no 
other than the dreaded "Black Sargint." 
Mrs. Monaghan, you may observe, is, with 
great coolness, wrapping up and paying 
much attention to what appears to be a 
child in the cradle; though hitherto, we feel 
assured, there did not seem to be any child 
in it, nor did she pay the slightest attention 
to the cradle throughout the night. As 
Dinny proceeds to the door, the men, having 
emptied their glasses, cast an anxious look 
in the direction of the keg, but are amazed 
to see no keg in it. Then, observing Mrs. 
Monaghan's motions, their faces brighten 
somewhat. 

" Arrah, be aisy would ye at the door, 
whoiver ye are," says Dinny, as he applies 
his hand to undo the bolt. " Why, sargint, 
avic, ye don't mane to say its yerselfs in it? 
Why, I didn't know what sort of a 
moroder (marauder) was batin' the divil's 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 131 



own tindherary on the door wantin' to pull 
down an honest man's house. Why, it's 
yerself's heartily welcome — an' yer fren's, 
too — one, two, three of them. Gintlemen, 
this is an unexpected plisure. Now, who'd 
have thought yez would take it into yer head 
to come out for a moonlight sthroll sich a 
night! Mrs. Monaghan, agrah, would ye 
lave the Rooshian in charge of the wean for 
a minnit, an' look if ye'd have ever another 
dhrop in the cubbard for the daicent gintle- 
men? You haven't a dhrop? Wirrasthrue, 
I'm sorry for that. If yez had had just hon- 
oured us by dhroppin' in five minnits sooner, 
gintlemen, I would have give yez a dhrop 
would warmed yez down to the exthraym- 
ities of yer big toes. Movrone! but I'm un- 
lucky! " 

" Come, Monaghan, none of yer pala- 
vering stan' aside, an' I'll sarch the cubbard, 
an' a few other places for meself. You've 
had things purty near long enough yer own 
way; but Dinny, ould boy, it's my turn now 
— time about, ye know, is fair play." 

"Why, sargint, clarlin', sure it's welcome 
ye are to take a peep into the cubbard, an' 



132 Through the Turf Smoke 



pick an' choose for yerself. It's a kindly 
heart ye have. It's few would lave their 
warm fire sich a night, and plod four mile, 
through cowld an' wet, mud and muck, to 
their fren's. Poor divils! yez are stharved 
an' drownded, that's what yez are. Push 
forrid to the fire; don't feel backward. That 
glass, sargint, jewel, is emp'y, as ye observe. 
Och, it's no good in ye thryin' any of them 
— they're all emp'y as yer own skull." 

" They are emp'y, I see, but — " 

" Och, no 6 buts ' at all about it, sargint, 
avic. I'll jus' sen' the youngsther over to 
Paddy Neddy's, of the back of the hill — he's 
makin' a runnin' the night (may he have 
luck with it!), and I'll jist get ye a dhrop of 
the first shot." 

" Come, come, Monaghan," says the ser- 
geant, whose 6 dandher ' is commencing to 
rise at Dinny's jokes, " give us no more of 
your blarney, but tell me where's the poteen 
you run last night ? " 

" Where's the poteen I run last night ? " 

" Yes, where's the poteen you run last 
night ? You have a keg of it in the house — 
you know you have; an' you'd betther not 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 133 



get yer house pulled upside down, but hand 
it out at oncet, for I'll have it with me, 
should I pull down yer house to get at 
it." 

" Well, sargint, avic, I daresay the aisiest 
way is the best, so, if ye promise not to sthir 
anything else lookin' for more — bekase 
there's no more in it — I'll tell ye where that 
dhrop is." 

" That's right, Dinny; I see you have some 
sense af ther all. "Where is it ? " 

" Why, sargint, it's — av coorse ye promise 
what I axed ye ? 99 

" Of coorse, of coorse, man." 

" Honour bright." 

" Honour bright, Dinny." 

" Why thin, sargint, yer a daicent fellow 
as iver stepped in shoe-leather, so I'll tell ye. 
It's — ifs in the keg!" 

" The divil take ye ! I'll overhaul yer 
whole house." 

" Och, sargint, yer promise! Honour 
bright, ye know." 

" Go to the deuce! When ye won't tell 
me where the keg is, I'm goin' to find it. 
Come on, men! " 



134 Through the Turf Smoke 



" Aisy, sargint, aisy, ye didn't ax me where 
the keg was." 
" Stan' aside/' 

" So you'll pull down a man's house." 

" Tell me, then, where is the keg? " 

" I will, if you give me that promise." 

u I'll give ye the promise; an' more than 
that, I'll stick to it, if ye tell me the very 
place the keg is." 

" The very place— I'll tell ye it." 

" All right, then, ye have my promise." 

" Well, the keg, sargint — the very place the 
keg is, is about the poteen ! " 

This is greeted by a loud roar from all 
sides of the house, while Mrs. Monaghan, 
who has been industriously rocking the 
cradle all the time, protests, — 

" Billy M'Cahill, I would thank ye to not 
thramp over the wean. Yez have it awake, 
yez have, with yer jokin' an' laughin'. I'll 
thurn yez out, ivery mother's sowl, if yez 
can't have behaviour," and she stoops over 
the cradle to soothe her charge, whilst the 
sergeant and his men proceed at once, in 
mighty wrath, to search for the keg. 

" Bad scran to yez, I say again, an' will yez 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 135 

not fall over the cradle an' smother the chile! 
Paddy Teague, isn't it near time ye wor 
thinkin' of goin' home to Norah? I think 
it's purty near time yez were all thrampin', 
an' leave a weeny bit of room for the gintle- 
men to get sarchin' the house/' says Mrs. 
Monaghan. 

" Now, Hazelton, try you the room there 
below, an' meself an' Murphy 'ill thry this 
other room. Short, throw you your eye 
about the kitchen here — don't leave a mouse- 
hole you won't sarch. Hazelton, my boy, 
ye were long lookin' for the sthripes — now's 
yer chance." 

" Is it Misther Hazelton get the sthripes?" 
from one in the crowd, who are now com- 
mencing to enjoy the thing. " Throth, he 
will get them — but, I'm afeard, it 'ill be on 
the wrong place, ha! ha! " 

"Ha! ha! ha! Now, Misther Short, ye 
boy ye, 'arn you the sthripes." 

" Och, be the holy poker, he'll rise in the 
worl' yet, the same man will." 

"How high?" 

"Och, meself can't tell that — it all de- 
pends on the taste of the hangman." 



136 Through the Turf Smoke 



ft Why then, Charley, I dar'say it'll be the 
short dhrop they'll thrate him to, no matther 
who gets the privilege of pullin' the cord." 

"I'm thinkin' — for the Lord's sake, Mis- 
ther Short, take care of yer prayshus self, ye 
were a'most down, there — I'm thinkin', boys, 
it'll be a very short drop he'll get to-night, 
anyhow." 

" Throth, then, it'd be a shame to thrate 
the daicent man so, afther him comin' so far 
to see yez." 

" Ay, an' on such a divil's own wet, dhirty 
night, too." 

"Ay, an' see there's a river of wather 
runnin' from him, poor man, that would 
nearly wash a policeman's conscience." 

"Ay, if he had it about him. But they 
say that when they go on duty they have 
got spayshill ordhers from Dublin Castle to 
leave their conscience at home behin' them, 
for fear they would get injured." 

" Or maybe lost — I heerd tell of a peeler 
losin' his conscience when on duty." 

" The Lord help the poor man foun' it. I 
wouldn't like to be in his shoes." 

" Why, sargint, avic, is it out of the room 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 137 

ye are, an' widout the keg? Ye must have 
been crassed by a red-haired man to-night — 
ye have no luck." 

" Faix, sargint, darlin', it's cowld an' wet 
an' I dar'say hungry an' thirsty ye are. Pull 
up to the fire ahaisge, an' take a shin-heat." 

" The poor man is too fond of his counthry 
an' it's workin' himself to death he is. Look, 
he's disappearin' inside his clothes, for all 
the worl' like a haporth of tibbacky in a 
sack." 

" An' there's poor Hazelton, too, has given 
up the lower room; an' he's desarvin' of his 
counthry, if iver a man was — he's shiverin' 
like a dhrownded cat, an' the teeth in his 
head's rattlin' like a workhouse cart. Cheer 
up, oul' fellow, the sthripes is before ye yet." 

" Oh, they are before him maybe now, but 
they'll be behind him, plaise the Lord, some 
day." 

" Now, Mickey Eoe, don't be hard on the 
poor man; maybe it's enough he's sufferin' 
this minnit in his own heart, bein' disap- 
pointed of the warm dhrop of the crathur 
he was expectin'." 

" In his own heart ! It's the first time I 



138 Through the Turf Smoke 

iver heerd him accused of havin' one. Where 
might he carry the article? " 
"In his stomach/' 

" Or in his heels ? It was in his heels he 
had it the day that Peggy M'Glanaghan 
ducked him in the du'ghill pit, an' then 
chased him for his life." 

Whilst this running commentary was kept 
up amid peals of laughter by the crowd 
around the fire, the poor peelers were ran- 
sacking and rummaging the house in all 
directions, and receiving the chaff with a 
very bad grace indeed; which fact, of course, 
made it still the more enjoyable to the jest- 
ers, and held out the stronger incentive for 
them to pepper the four unfortunate poor 
fellows still more unmercifully. Mrs. Mon- 
aghan, all the time, was industriously at- 
tending to the slumbers of " the crathur " 
in the cradle, hushing its restless spirit to 
repose, and crooning a lullaby to aid the 
good object. Occasionally, too, she would 
stoop down, say a few soothing words, bestow 
a kiss apparently on its little brow, and cover 
it up snugly. This she would sometimes 
vary, by addressing a pettish remonstrance 



Dinny Monaghan's Last Keg 139 



to the men to keep their tongues at rest, and 
not disturb " the crathur's 99 slumbers. She 
sat between the cradle and the fire, with her 
deep shadow cast upon it. The police are 
now getting thoroughly tired of their search, 
the evidence of their own eyes, coupled with 
the coolness and fearless tone of Dinny and 
his party, inducing them to believe that 
there cannot possibly be a keg in the house 
— whatever little they had within, they must 
have just finished as they (the invaders) en- 
tered. Of course they could not sustain a 
prosecution upon the strength of the smell 
(or the smell of the strength) of the glasses. 
They are about to depart, but Hazelton — 
the stripes still floating in his mind's eye — 
must search the top of the dresser. For this 
purpose, he leans upon the shoulder of the 
sergeant, and stepping on the rim of a tub 
of dirty water which had been used for wash- 
ing roots in, he succeeds in satisfying him- 
self that there is no contraband material on 
it, when, unluckily, his weight on the one 
side of the tub upsets it, and tumbles him 
flat just in time to receive its contents. In 
the act of falling he has fetched down his 



140 Through the Turf Smoke 



worthy sergeant beneath him, who acts as a 
buffer between Hazelton and the floor, and 
comes in for half the contents of the tub. A 
shout of laughter that seems almost to shake 
the old roof greets this ludicrous denouement, 
and the sergeant and Hazelton get up, glare 
at each other for a moment, shake themselves 
like spaniels, and then take their solemn 
departure in rather a crestfallen manner, and 
are slowly followed by their two companions 
with arms unconsciously reversed, all fol- 
lowed by the jeers and hilarious merriment 
of the inmates. We will not undertake to 
describe the scene that followed inside — the 
praises loudly lavished on Mrs. Monaghan, 
the fondling " the crathur " got, the mutual 
congratulations and exultations, the drink- 
ing of Mrs. Monaghan's health, the drink- 
ing of Dinny's health, the drinking of the 
company's health, the drinking of every- 
body's health — not neglecting the Black 
Sergeant's — and the drinking of the dock an 
dorrish, and the final dispersion of the com- 
pany, which ended the eventful night. It 
was a night to be remembered. 



Billy Baxter 



Billy Baxter 



Now, Billy wasn't a religious man. That's 
certain. He was, I fear, a wicked, worldly- 
minded sinner; too frequently the cause of 
distress and of much spiritual anxiety to the 
righteous among his Cruckagar neighbours. 
He had a sinful habit of weighing all actions, 
even the most edifying religious ones, in a 
worldly scale of his own that was the cause 
of much scandal and many heart-burnings 
to those good ones around him whose 
thoughts ran upon the world which has its 
hither boundary in the silent churchyard. 
Within the memory of our dogmatic Oldest 
Inhabitant, Billy had only been twice to his 
church — one of which occasions was at his 
marriage to Jane. Whenever the 0. I. had 
occasion to bear sorrowful testimony to 
Billy's laxity, he invariably shook his head, 
and, in half an hour after, there were not 



144 Through the Turf Smoke 

three heads unshaken in all Cruckagar for 
" Billy Baxther, the Lord forgive him! — no 
hetter nor the black haithen! " When re- 
monstrated with on the point Billy was un- 
consciously — quite innocently — satirical : 
" Sure where anondher the sun is the good 
of me goin' to prayer or meeting that never, 
since I was no bigger nor me knee, was mas- 
ther of a shoot of clothes that me naybour 
'ud turn on his heel to look at? " Billy, in 
short, looked upon church as a luxury and 
a frivolity intended for the idle and the vain, 
and altogether out of the sphere of a hard- 
working poor man, who, willy nilly, must 
take life seriously. " By right," as we put 
it, Billy should be a Presbyterian; which is 
to say that his parents were understood to 
have belonged to that Church. 

The Eev. Ezekiel M'Cart was the Presby- 
terian pastor of Cruckagar. He was a typi- 
cal minister of the Gospel — pious as a saint, 
learned as a doctor, simple as a babe, humble, 
and, withal, poor as the poorest of his small 
ana" miserably poor congregation. Mr. 
M'Cart, notwithstanding an innate esthetic 
dread of his free-thinking parishioner, con- 



Billy Baxter 



sidered that it would be a shirking of his 
duty if he didn't remonstrate with Billy. He 
did so, asking him to quit the ways of the 
unrighteous and come back to his church 
and his spiritual duties. For Mr. M'Cart 
alone, of all the clergymen he knew, Billy 
had a huge esteem — the humility and simple- 
mindedness and unobtrusive goodness of the 
man had secretly won him. So, with pro- 
foundest respect, he lent a most attentive 
ear to the good man's exhortations, and when 
he had finished, Billy said: 

" Now, yer reverence, out of regards to ye, 
I'll put me foot in the fire if ye bid me do 
it, but I'll not go to Meetin'. I have been 
there afore, expectin' to hear somethin' 
might do me good — for God knows I'm in 
black need of 'mendment! — but I heerd noth- 
in' only scouldin' the divil. I heerd Misther 
Mahon praich wanst, an' he did nothin' only 
scould the divil. I listened for two hours 
to the Methodist praicher, an' it was bally- 
raggin' the divil from commencement to end. 
Twicet I went to hear Father Dan, an' it was 
pitchin' in to the poor divil with him, too, 

as hot as he could pepper him. That gave 
10 



146 Through the Turf Smoke 



me my fill of church, chapel, an' meetin'. 
The divil may be bad — an' I'm not denyin' 
but he is — but the poor fellow's not gettin' 
half a chance. An' if he's as bad as yez 
make him out, small blame to him, say I, 
for if he had the spirit of a dog, he couldn't 
take off yer hands all yez give him from June 
to January, an' be otherwise nor bad, an' the 
worst of bad." 

After that conversation, the good Mr. 
M'Cart, shocked beyond expression, let Billy 
go his way in peace, for he saw well that 
counsel was lost on him. 

I said Mr. M'Cart was poor. Father Dan 
was the lucky owner of a jaunting car and 
a mare, Forgiveness, both of which, if neither 
dashing nor handsome, were useful. Mr. 
Mahon, the rector, richly dressed, invariably 
drove an extremely smart turn-out. Even 
the Methodist preacher had to confess to a 
conveyance of a certain primitive and homely 
character. Mr. M'Cart alone had to trot the 
length and breadth of a tedious parish on 
Shanks' mare, which is to say, his own two 
feet, with the added luxury of a stout stick. 
This was not as it should be. His little 



Billy Baxter 



147 



flock, who loved the man dearly, saw this, 
and said it shouldn't be. Nixon Beattie and 
Andy Eitchie were appointed to take their 
mites from their poor brethren that their 
pastor might be lifted out of the mud, and 
on horseback hold up his head with his fel- 
lows. Should they, the collectors asked 
themselves, call upon the black sheep? 
They would — though in all probability 
they'd get small thanks and less money. 
But grievously they mistook their man. 
Billy was overjoyed at being enabled to con- 
tribute towards the well-being and the ease 
of him whom he so much admired. From 
his hoard in the old stocking in the chimney 
— a hoard of silver and coppers amounting 
probably to not less than five and twenty 
shillings — he drew forth a shining white 
shilling, and ringing it on the table to them, 
wished from his soul that it had been a sov- 
ereign, " For," Billy said, " we must try to 
buy him somethin' worthy of him, an' a 
credit to us." He already felt the pride of 
part ownership. 

Ten days later a deputation, each member 
of which was, in solemn conclave, elected on 



148 Through the Turf Smoke 



the strength of his knowledge of horseflesh, 
proceeded to the great horse fair of The Moy, 
and therefrom led back, and proudly pre- 
sented to their worthy pastor, a comely and 
very spirited young pony. The good man's 
sincere protestations that he wished not to 
accept their too handsome present — that he 
had not the slightest experience of riding 
horseback, and that anyhow he thought he 
should feel ever so much more at home 
among them travelling to their doors with 
only his stick — were all of no avail. He was 
compelled to accept the gift, by none more 
warmly, more noisily, or more prominently 
than by Billy Baxter, who, in his folded shirt 
sleeves — for he had left his spade standing 
in the ridge — arrived at the Manse just as 
Adam Lindsay, who kept a grocery, and had 
oratorical ambitions, was opening up the sub- 
ject in a very rhetorical, carefully prepared 
speech. For a few minutes Billy had list- 
ened to Adam in a puzzled fashion; he then 
asked a neighbour, rather audibly, " What 
the divil is Adam bletherin' about? " and 
without waiting for answer, stepped in front 
of the orator and apologetically said: 



Billy Baxter 



149 



"Adam, yer reverence, manes to say that 
we've put our heads together an' bought a 
bit of a baste for ye, an' there he is " — here 
Billy gave the pony a smart slap that caused 
the beast to rear and prance to the imminent 
danger of the frightened assembly — "an' 
may the Lord give ye good of him! That's 
all." 

Whilst the self-denying poor man was pro- 
testing, the pony was led away and safely 
stabled. Billy hadn't got time to view the 
animal to his content and put his merits to 
the test. He was impatient to satisfy him- 
self. Ten days later, as he dug in his potato 
field, he saw on the road, which was a few 
fields distant, his minister ride by upon the 
new pony; for Mr. M'Cart had with much 
trouble, mental and physical, mastered the 
feat of keeping a fairly good seat in the 
saddle as the pony jogged. 

" Hi! hi! " Billy hailed, motioning with 
his finger that he wished the minister to 
await him. 

He drew rein, wondering what Billy 
wanted with him. As Billy neared, he 
found his eye was upon the beast scrutinis- 



150 Through the Turf Smoke 

ingly, not on himself. When Billy came on 
the road he folded his arms and surveyed the 
animal's points with the eye of a connoisseur, 
his head poised on one side. He walked all 
round the horse so, at a distance of a few 
yards, breathing a subdued half whistle as 
he did so. He came forward and lifted one 
of the fore feet, saying sternly, "Hold up, 
sir! Hold — up — sirrr! " and having satis- 
fied himself that there wasn't a stone in it, 
laid it down, and retrograded till he had the 
animal at the proper angle of observation 
again. 

" Go ahead! " he said abruptly. 

Mr. M'Cart said, " Good day, Billy! " and, 
not without some wonder, went ahead. 

" That'll do! " Billy said as abruptly, when 
the pony had progressed about twenty 
yards. 

Still puzzled, the reverend rider obeyed 
Billy's terse behest, and stopped short. 

" Head him round an' come back. Off 
you! — off you! There — don't jibe him! — 
don't jibe him! — for the sake of the Lord 
don't jibe the baste, yer reverence! Walk 
him quicker. That's you. Very good — very 



Billy Baxter 151 



good, by the powdhers," he remarked to him- 
self. 

Taking him by the head when the pony 
came up, he asked— 

" How does he lead? " 

But without waiting for an answer he had 
started off, hauling the pony to a canter, 
which caused the inexperienced rider to 
hump himself for safety and tightly press 
his knees against the beast's sides. He was 
jolted and thrown about, sometimes on the 
saddle, but oftener off it, altogether, alas! 
forming a cruelly undignified picture. Sev- 
eral times he essayed to request Billy to stop, 
but the words were snapped in his mouth; 
besides, he almost bit off his tongue in the 
attempt. Billy, observing his fright, tried 
to encourage him. As he ran he spoke over 
his shoulder in a sympathetic voice. He said: 

" Dammit, yer reverence, don't be narvous. 
Don't be narvous, man alive. Grip like the 
divil, an' houl' on like grim death. That's 
you," he said, as Mr. M'Cart just narrowly 
escaped coming down where the horse was 
not, "ye'll soon be a thunderin' fine rider 
— a bully rider." 



152 Through the Turf Smoke 



Then when Billy had trotted the horse far 
enough in that direction to satisfy himself, 
he drew up, to the great relief of the breath- 
less and frightened equestrian. Billy turned 
the pony's head, with the intention of ex- 
perimenting back again to their starting 
point. But the pony evidently had a will 
of his own, and he now chose to show it. 
Instead of starting back with Billy, he threw 
up his head and pulled in the other direc- 
tion. 

" Oh, ye would, would ye? ye divil ye! " 
Billy said, as he gave him a sounding whack 
on the ribs, the good minister's left leg com- 
ing in for share of it. 

When the pony had thrown up his head 
and sprung backwards, Mr. M'Cart found 
himself seated on the animal's neck, very 
nearly; and when, in acknowledgment of 
Billy's little remonstrance on his ribs, he 
sprang forward, the worthy man found him- 
self sitting in uncomfortable proximity to 
the beast's tail. The third spring brought 
the saddle under him; the horse had come 
to a dead pause, and for the first time Mr. 
M'Cart was enabled to speak. 



Billy Baxter 153 



"William, William, my dear friend/' he 
appealed, " do leave the animal to himself 
and he'll go like a lamb." 

"Ho-0-0! Misther M'Cart," Billy said, 
"ye're early beginnin' to spoil the baste. 
' Spare the rod/ ye know. No, no/' and 
Billy gave the beast another vigorous blow 
on the ribs; "no, no, we must taich him 
breedin' or atween us we'll make a purty 
baste of him." Another whack and another 
spring, and Mr. M'Cart enclasped the ani- 
mal's neck in a firm embrace. " No, no, we 
must taich him who's masther, an' who's 
man, we must. Houl' on, ye sowl ye — houl' 
on, Misther M'Cart; I'll soon " — (whack! 
whack!) — " take the tanthrums out of him! " 

"William! William! I do appeal to 
you " 

" Damn it, yer reverence, ye have no grit 
in ye. Aisy, ye divil ye! Ha-a-a, take that! 
Lord, man, ye're as 'feered as fire! " 

"William, let me dismount, I beseech 
you! " 

" Och, the divil a wan 0' ye is goin' to 
dismount the day, to plaise him. Take that, 
ye conthrairy schoundril ye! I'm sure, that's 



154 Through the Turf Smoke 

what would spoil him out an' out. Take yer 
time till — (whack! whack!) — till I'm finished 
with him. I houl' ye for the biggest button 
on yer frock, he hasn't as many — (whack! 
whack!) — as many 'nadiums' in his head 
when I'm done." 

The animal was now prancing around and 
around in a circle, Billy coolly holding on, 
endeavouring to magnetise the animal by his 
eye, but assisting the action with a plentiful 
shower of blows, most of which fell on the 
horse, but an occasional one upon Mr. 
M'Cart, in which case Billy always begged 
pardon. The hat had fallen forward over 
the good man's eyes, and as he could not 
on peril of his life spare a hand to adjust it, 
he was struggling in the dark. 

"Ha-a-a! ye brute ye! Ha-a-a! Take 
that, ye baste! Ye have the 'stiadh'* in 
ye, but I'll take it out of ye, or my name 
isn't Billy. Houl' on, Misther M'Cart, an 5 
don't be freckened — ye're as safe as if ye 
were in yer arm-chair." 

It might be so, still at that instant Mr. 
M'Cart would have preferred the arm-chair. 

* The spirit of contrariness. 



Billy Baxter 



»5* 



At length Billy got the "nadiums" out 
of the animal. He quieted down and went 
along slowly and quietly with his victor, who 
experienced not a little silent pride. Though 
he still continued looking up at the animal 
and saying " Ha-a-a! 99 through his teeth to 
him, more surely to fasten the spell upon 
him. When he had got him to the point 
from which he had started, Billy let him go, 
and said: 

"Now, Mr. M'Cart, ye have ten poun' a 
betther horse nor ye had twinty minutes ago. 
Ye want to be firm — ye want to be firm. 
Throth I'm sore afeerd yer reverence would 
'a' spoilt the baste in less nor no time — spoilt 
him! We'd never get no good o' him if ye'd 
let him do his own biddin.' It was a 
sthruggle to get the animal, yer reverence, 
an' now we have him, we must take all the 
care of him we can. I thrust yer reverence 
sees he gets a warm mash every night; put 
a thrifle o' bran through his corn, too — 
don't forget that; an' see he's properly 
rubbed down, now, every time he comes in 
off a journey. Throth, Misther M'Cart, I'm 
afeerd ye have too many other matthers in 



156 Through the Turf Smoke 



yer head; an atween thinkin' of sinners an' 
sarmons, ye'll let our little baste go to the 
deuce. That'll not do — that'll never do at all, 
at all. I'll be keepin' my eye out, now, back 
an' forrid, to see that he's properly looked 
afther. Good mornin' — good mornin', yer 
reverence, an' good luck! An' don't neglect 
our little animal, mind, whatsomiver ye do! " 

Then Mr. M'Cart rode forward in per- 
plexed meditation, whilst Billy crossed the 
fields again to resume his work, often paus- 
ing to cast an anxious glance after the ani- 
mal, and thereupon invariably shaking his 
head, as doubtful of the care which should 
be bestowed upon his property when he 
wasn't there to see and direct. 

Mrs. MTartlan was an extremely rich old 
widow lady from Belfast, a pious Presby- 
terian who had come down to Donegal with 
the intention of finding out the state of her 
poorer co-religionists there. Mr. M'Cart had 
somewhere managed to borrow a phaeton 
into which he received her off the mail coach 
at Donegal. At first the pony had showed 
too much mettle to suit her nerves, but he 
soon quieted down, so that they got along 



Billy Baxter 



l 57 



smoothly, till at length, nearing their desti- 
nation, Mr. M'Cart was not a little unnerved 
seeing Billy Baxter at work in the same field 
from which he had before sallied down upon 
him. But there was a chance of getting 
past unnoticed. He prayed in his heart that 
he might. Mrs. MTartlan, besides being 
nervous, was cold and hungry, and was 
(under these conditions) more or less irrit- 
able. Billy did not seem to notice their ap- 
proach. They had already got opposite to 
him — past him, and the good man was 
warmly congratulating himself on the nar- 
row escape: but — 

"Hi! Hi! Hi! there, I say! " 

There was no use pretending not to hear 
him. Billy was bounding over ditches in his 
eagerness to catch up to them, and, being 
fleet of foot, he could accomplish this with- 
out difficulty. 

u Good morra, yer reverence ! Ye're wel- 
come, good woman! Why, ye were near past 
anonst* to me," Billy said breathlessly as he 
got up, and with the sleeve of his vest began 
rubbing off a few flecks of froth that lay on 

* Unknown. 



158 Through the Turf Smoke 



the animal's side. "Ye didn't see me? I 
was levellin' broo's in the fieF beyant. How 
is the powny doin', yer reverence? Did ye 
do as I was — Dammit! man, what manes 
this? " and Billy proceeded to unhook a curb 
from the bit. " Tare-an'-ouns! man, don't 
do that — don't desthroy the little animal's 
mouth. Or what the divil put it in yer 
head anyhow. There ye are/' and Billy 
tossed the curb into the phaeton. "Now, 
that's the height 0' nonsense, yer reverence, 
an' can only give our baste a bad name." 
Here he got down on one knee in front of 
the horse and narrowly examined his fore- 
feet. "Upon me sowl," he said, "I do be- 
lieve he forges. If he does, we're taken in. 
Just start him along a bit at an aisy canther 
till I see for meself, an' — " 

"But, William, my dear friend, this is a 
lady friend, Mrs. MTartlan, and " 

" Yis, yis; sure I spoke to her," Billy said, 
raising his caubeen, however, to acknowledge 
the introduction. "How are ye, Mrs. 
MTartlan? I suppose you've come over to 
see Irelan'? Ye'll see plenty o' hardships 
and hard work. This is the back 0' God- 



Billy Baxter 159 

speed, ma'am. I'm plaised for the honour of 
meetin' ye, ma'am. — Now, yer reverence, ye 
sowl ye," he continued in the tone of one 
who had dutifully acquitted himself of a 
task, "throt him out till I obsarve his 
steps." 

Mr. H'Cart resignedly did as he was 
ordered. 

When he had gone a hundred yards — 
" That'll do— that'll do," Billy said. « He 
just forges the slightest little taste imagin- 
able. But with care we'll br'ak him off it 
— with care. Ye'll have to give him more 
of his head, yer reverence — ye'll have to give 
him more of his head. If ye keep continu- 
ally naggin' an' naggin', ye'll dhrive the 
baste to the deuce. Lord, man, give him 
rein — give him rein, and don't be afeerd. 
Let him go like blazes if he wants to. Now, 
there's a great dale in turnin' a baste round. 
I should like to see how yer reverence man- 
ages in turnin' him. Just take him round 
there, an' drive him back a score 0' steps, 
an' turn him again " — 

"But, William, my friend Mrs. MTart- 
lan " 



160 Through the Turf Smoke 



" Yis, yis," William said hastily; " ye made 
the good woman known to me afore. I was 
spaikin' to Mrs. MTartlan " 

" She feels it so awfully cold " 

"Yis, ma'am, that's Irelan' for ye. The 
day we have it as cowl' as charity. Less nor 
a month ago it was as hot as the hob of 
the Bad-place, ma'am. Now, Misther 
M'Cart " 

" She feels both cold, William, and 
hungry, and would like to get to the manse 
with as little delay as possible. So, my good 
friend, if you would " 

"Oh! oh! Surely! surely! Why didn't ye 
say that afore? Oh, to be sure, me good 
woman — to be sure! I'll be sayin' good day 
to ye, Mrs. MTartlan, an' take good care o' 
yerself; but ye're in good hands, throth, 
when ye're in Misther M'Cart's. Ye'll never 
know how to be half thankful to him. Good 
day to ye, ma'am. An' good day, Misther 
M'Cart. Whip him up now, an' off like 
blazes, both of ye. Good day, good day! " 

Mr. M'Cart went off sorely vexed for his 
peevish companion, who was in high ill 
humour over the amazing scene. 



Billy Baxter 



161 



"She was very soon to see their friend again, 
however. Next day in the little dining-room 
of the humble manse there sat down to din- 
ner with Mr. M'Cart, Mrs. MTartlan and 
her favourite clergyman from Belfast, who 
was then in the neighbourhood (a solemn 
dignitary), and a Presbyterian Doctor of 
Divinity from an adjoining parish. After 
dinner had begun there was a knock at the 
door, and without awaiting a response the 
door was shoved open, and, hat in hand, 
bowing familiarly to the company, Billy 
Baxter walked in. Billy was not dressed 
for dinner either; he wore a sleeved waist- 
coat, and there was more hayseed and other 
such material upon his soft hat than eti- 
quette countenances in polite company. But 
he was nothing abashed. 

" Oh, don't — don't, gentlemen, disturb 
yerselves at all, at all — fire away! an' more 
power to yer elbows. I only just dhropped 
in, Misther — How do you do, oul' woman? 
Excuse me for not seein' ye. But there's 
such a sight of quality present, I didn't no- 
tice ye 

Here Billy drew himself a chair, and seat- 



162 Through the Turf Smoke 



ing himself on it, he reached his hat to the 
table and placed it there, not far from the 
plate of the startled Mrs. MTartlan. 

"I hope, ma'am, ye have the appetite 
good? There's nothing like the appetite. I 
have a roarin' one. I can ate like a horse, 
HI tell ye M 

" William," said Mr. M'Cart, endeavour- 
ing to be as conciliating as possible, whilst 
he removed the offending hat and placed it 
elsewhere. * William, you wanted to see 
me?" 

" Oh, just, yer riverence, I have only half 
a word to say to ye. It's about our little 
powny. I wasn't — Is that what ye call wine 
now, that the oul' woman's dhrinkin'? It's 
a dhirty wash, ma'am, no better nor ditch- 
water, an' tarnation bad for the stomach. 
There's nothin' better to yer vittils nor a 
dhrop of prime whiskey. But, sure, I need- 
n't tell you — ye didn't live in the same town 
of Belfast for a centhury without knowin' 
that. Misther M'Cart never tastes it him- 
self, ma'am, so ye must excuse him for not 
havin' it on the table. I'll tell ye, ma'am, 
where " 



Billy Baxter 



"William, will you come with me, 
till " 

"Oh, no, no, no, Misther M'Cart! Not 
at all! Just keep yer sate, I only want half 
a word, an' I'll be gone/' 

"Perhaps you'll have some wine, Wil- 
liam?" 

" No, yer reverence, none of yer slob- wash 
for me — no disparagement to yer reverence. 
But, as I was savin', havin' nothing much 
else to do this evenin', I dhropped over to 
have a peep at the powny. I stepped into 
the stable, an' bad luck to the wan o' me 
but was up to my knees in it. Yer reve- 
rence should send that boy o' yours packin' 
— he has yon stable in a odious state — there's 
a 'ho-go' in it would knock ye down. I 
haven't got it out of my nose yet. Earn it, 
yer reverence, it'll never do. Aither that 
divil's kid of a boy ye've got 'ill be dismissed, 
or else you an' I'll fall out. Then that 
powny's not gettin' his mait — I do believe 
that. There wasn't as much hay as ye'd 
wipe her nose with in the hay-rack, an' that 
scoundhrill of a lad o' yours down pitchin' 
buttons with all the blaguards of the coun- 



164 Through the Turf Smoke 

thry at the Cross Koads, when he should he 
attendin' to the baste, an' givin' him some- 
thin' to keep him from starvin'. An', more- 
over — Lord, ma'am, is there a bone in yer 
throat? Clap her on the back, Misther 
M'Cart! " 

But the contortions of Mrs. MTartlan's 
face were only the result of indignant amaze- 
ment. 

"An' besides, Misther M'Cart, I don't 
b'leeve that little blaguard is mixin' bran 
with the haste's corn as I allowed. Ye 
should see to it yerself, man, that the little 
powny gets a warm mash every night. Ye 
should make it yer business to go down to the 
kitchen an' — Misther M'Cart, don't forget 
yer company; here's a gintleman, an' his plate 
wants renewin', I think — go down, I say, to 
the kitchen yerself, and see that the pratie 
skins an' the other scran from the dinner is 
mixed with it, an' rumble yer han' about 
through it, too, to see that there's no fish 
bones, nor the like, in it; an' to see that it's 
the proper hait. Aisy, good man, or ye'll 
flow over that tumbler an' spoil the table- 
cloth, an' that'll fetch Shusan about yer lugs 



Billy Baxter 165 



— faith, don't fetch Shusan down on ye, or 
she'll let ye know how many bains make five. 
That's all I've got to say, yer reverence. 
Only, ye'd betther see that the off-hind shoe 
is fastened or ye'll lose it. Send the young 
fellow over to the forge early in the mornin' 
to have it fastened, or if ye let him go an- 
other day he'll lose it, an' ye'll fetch the 
powny home limpin' like a cripple. An' 
don't forget to give that youngsther his 
walkin' papers, an' let him go to the divil to 
look for a masther. Good day to yez, gintle- 
men, an' much good may it do yez! Good 
day to yerself, oul' woman! Ye can send 
Shusan — give her fourteen pence, an' send 
her, an' she knows where to go, an' she'll 
fetch ye as good a dhrop of the rale stuff, 
I'll stake me voracity, as ye were accustomed 
to in Belfast. Good day, ma'am; good day! 
Good day to yerself, Misther M'Cart! an' I 
hope I didn't put ye about. Don't forget 
the mash! Bumble yer hand through it yer- 
self, for fear of bones. Send the young bla- 
guard packin' to the divil about his business. 
Oh, don't be annoyed, ma'am, that's only 
hayseeds is fallin' off me oul' hat — an' that's 



166 Through the Turf Smoke 



a sthraw — let me take that sthraw out o' yer 
wine. There ye are! Good day all! Good 
day! I'll call roun' soon again till we have 
a chat about the baste, yer reverence. Good 
day, an' good luck! 99 

But Mr. M'Cart feared too much another 
interview with Billy. The poorer Presby- 
terians in the parish of Cruckagar sowed 
their land that spring with seed purchased 
by the sale price of the Subscription Horse, 
whilst with renewed vigour and cheerfulness 
Mr. M'Cart again trudged his parish on foot, 
more than ever the idol of good-hearted Billy 
Baxter. 



The Counsel! 



The Counsellor 



I would not venture to say decidedly 
whether the Bummadier or Owen a-Slaivin 
was the better story-teller. I feel quite in- 
capable of pronouncing a definite opinion. 
Of course we had our men who laughed to 
scorn the idea of Owen daring to aspire to 
comparison at all; whilst, likewise, we had 
those who swore by Owen. Of course, the 
Bummadier, for the benefit of his worship- 
pers, had placed on record his fixed convic- 
tion that a lie never choked Owen; but, as a 
set-ofT against this, I may mention that Owen 
had confidently stated to his intimates there 
was not a bigger liar nor the Bummadier 
from * * * (a certain locality I hesitate to 
mention) to Guinealand. I suppose, how- 
ever, that in story-telling mere truth is only 
a matter of detail. 

The style of the Bummadier's narratives 



170 Through the Turf Smoke 

was bright, brisk, and lively, and the pleas- 
ing shades they presented somehow with- 
held you from examining too closely into 
their texture. 

In Owen's cabin you would need to sit 
some time before you discovered the features 
of your fellow-rakers: the cabin was low, and 
small, and smoky: his fire, without fir, aimed 
only at warmth — hence a good part of the 
•indistinctness which clothed the details of 
the interior. Taking its tinge from the sur- 
roundings, then, Owen's style was sombre; 
and the more comical the story, the more 
solemn was his manner. An eavesdropper 
who knew not the man, hearing only the 
droning tone of Owen, and seeing (through 
the keyhole) the dim cluster of faces in the 
dark room, might easily conclude that a 
flesh-creeping ghost story was in progress — 
but he wouldn't eavesdrop for long until he 
would be surprised out of his conclusion. 

We would, on the wildest night in winter, 
travel far and fare ill to hear a story of Dan 
— the Great Dan — from the most indifferent 
shanachy. But, to hear it from the lips of 
Owen — ! 



The Counsellor 171 



Oeh, the likes of Dan — the heavens be his 
bed! — never was known afore, nor will his 
likes ever be seen again as long as there's a 
bill on a crow. He was the long-headedest 
man — glory be to God! — ever stepped in 
shoe-leather. 

There was wanst and there was a poor boy 
up for murdher — he fell foul of a friend in 
a scrimmage, and he cracked his brain-box 
for him without intendin' it, an' the poor 
man died. An' the short an' the long of it 
was this poor boy was taken up for the mur- 
dher of his frien' with no chance whatsom- 
iver for escape, bekase the evijence was 
straight an' square that it was him, an' none 
other, give him the dyin' blow. An' that 
maint hangin', the poor boy knew well; for 
in them days they'd sthring ye up for a 
dickens sight smaller matther. 

Well, lo and behould ye! it was the morn- 
in' of the thrial, an' the poor boy, Heaven 
knows, was down-hearted enough, an' his 
friends all cryin' round him, thryin' to get 
him to keep up his spirits, though they knew, 
too, that it was a hopeless case. All at wanst, 
it sthruck one of his friends, an' says he, — 



172 Through the Turf Smoke 



" It's a bad case, no doubt, but what harm 
to consult Counsellor O'Connell?" 

Faith, the poor boy leaped at it. 

" Consult the Counsellor," says he, " for 
the Lord's sake! It's small's the chance; 
but still-and-all, if there's a ghost of a chance 
he'll see it." 

No sooner sayed than done. They had 
Dan on the spot in three hops of a sparrow, 
an' explainin' the whole case to him. When 
Dan heered the outs and ins of it, he shook 
his head. 

" It's a purty straight case," says Dan. 

" Is there no chance at all, at all, Coun- 
sellor? " says they. 

" The Queen's son," says he, " couldn't be 
saved on the evijence. In spite of all the 
Counsellors in the counthry, an' if ye had 
Sent Patrick himself to plead for ye, ye'd be 
sentenced," says he. 

This was the last blow for the poor pres'- 
ner, an' ill he took it. 

But all of a suddint, Dan looks him purty 
hard in the face — 

" If I don't mistake me much," says Dan, 
says he, "ye're a purty bould, fearsomless 
fella?" 



The Counsellor 173 



Zt Och," says the poor fella, says he, " the 
day was an 5 I was all that, but I'm thinkin' 
that day 'ill never come again." 

" Well," says Dan, sa}^s he, " I have con- 
si dhered the whole question over, an' if ye're 
a right bouP fella, and act right bouP, out 
of nine hundher and ninety-nine chances 
you have just wan half chance for yer life." 

" What is it? 99 says the poor fella, jumpin' 
at it. 

" It's this I'm goin' to tell ye," says Dan. 
" When your case is heerd, the jury without 
lavin' the box 'ill return a vardict of ' Guilty, 
me Lord! ' an' his Lordship 'ill then mount 
the black cap for the purpose of condemnin' 
ye. You're at that instant to have all the 
wee narve ye can about ye, an' havin' yer 
brogue loose upon yer foot, ye're to stoop 
down an' get a good grip of it in yer fist, an' 
the minnit ye see his Lordship open his 
mouth to sentence ye, take good sudden aim, 
an' with all the veins of yer heart give him 
the brogue fair atween the two eyes — then 
laive the rest to Providence." 

Thrue enough, it was a quare advice, an' 
maybe the poor lad didn't think so — but then 



174 Through the Turf Smoke 



it was Dan O'Connell's advice, an' that put 
another face on matthers. When Dan sayed 
it, it was worth thryin'; so he obsarved it to 
the letther; an' when the jury was bringin' 
in their verdict of " Guilty, me Lord! " he 
was gettin' his brogue loose on his foot; an' 
when the Judge got on the black cap, he got 
a good grip of the brogue, and gathered all 
his narves, an' the very next minnit, as the 
Judge opened his mouth to give him sen- 
tence, he ups with the brogue, an' with all 
the powers of his arm an' the veins of his 
heart, let him have the full weight of the 
brogue fair atween the two eyes, an' knocks 
him over flat. An' a stor! a stor! up was the 
Judge agin in an instant, an' him purple in 
the face, an' he guldhers out, — 

"My vardict is that the scoundhril be 
burned, beheaded, and hung! " 

" Aisy, aisy, I beg yer pardon, me Lord," 
says Dan O'Connell, jumpin' up in his place 
in the coort. " I beg yer Lordship's par- 
don," says he, " but I think ye have thrans- 
gressed yer rights," and he handed up to 
the Judge the book of the law that he might 
see for himself. " Ye can't," says he, " ac- 



The Counsellor 175 



cordin' to English law as prented in that 
book in black and white, sentence a man to 
be both burned, beheaded, an' hung. Pres'- 
ner," says Dan, then says he, turning to the 
dock, " pres'ner, you're at liberty to go free." 
An' the sorra his mouth could the dumb- 
founded Judge open, as the pres'ner stepped 
out of the dock a free man, for he saw Dan 
had him squarely. 

Well, there was again, an' there was a poor 
man, who had got some ha'pence, an' he 
speculated on a dhrove of cattle, an' started 
up to Dublin with them to sell them, an' 
make profit on them. As me brave man was 
dhrivin' the cattle down Dublin sthreet, 
out comes a man that kep' a tibbacky shop, 
a cliver lad, an' he saw his chance, an' sez 
he to the man who owned the cattle, — 

" How much," sez he, " will ye take for 
the best an' worst of them cattle of yours? " 

Well, the poor man looked at the best 
baste in the dhrove, an' at the worst baste, 
an' he prices the two 0' them in his own 
mind, an' — 

" I'll take so-much," sez he, mentionin' it. 

"AH right," sez the other, "I'll give ye 



176 Through the Turf Smoke 

yer axin'." An' into his yard he had the 
whole dhrove dhriven. It was no use what- 
somiver for the poor man to object, for the 
other said he bought the best an' the worst 
of the cattle, which was all of the cattle, an' 
he had witnesses to prove it. 

Away the poor man, in spite of himself, 
had to go with the price of barely two bastes 
in his pocket in payment for his whole 
dhrove, an' away he went lamentin', an' not 
knowing how he'd face back to his family 
again, with their wee trifle of money as good 
as gone. That night he put up in a public- 
house, an' the woman of the house comin' 
to larn the poor fella's lament axed him why 
he didn't go to the Counsellor, an' have his 
advice on it. If it did him no good, she 
said, it couldn't anyhow do him no harm, 
an' if there was wan way in a thousand out 
of it Dan would soon find that way. 

Right enough, the very next mornin' to 
the Counsellor the poor man set out, an' laid 
a full programme of his case afore Dan, an' 
axed him could anything be done. No an- 
swer Dan give him, till first he took three 
turns up an' down the parlour; and then, — 



The Counsellor 177 



" Yis/' sez Dan, " somethin' can be done. 
There's wan way you can get back yer cattle, 
an' only wan." 

" What's that? " sez the man. 

" You'll/' sez Dan, sez he, " have to cut 
off the small toe off yer left foot, an' go an' 
bury it on Spek Island,* an' when you've 
done that come back to me." 

As he was diracted he done with no loss 
of time, an' back to Dan he comes for fur- 
ther diractions. 

Now," sez Dan, " come along with me." 

An' off both of them started an' never 
halted till they were in the tibbackinist's 
shop. An' och, it was welcome Dan was 
with the lad behind the counther, who was 
bowin' an' scrapin' to him, an' thankin' him 
for the honour he done him comin' into his 
shop. 

" Can ye sarve me," sez Dan, sez he, " with 
a little piece of good tibbacky? " 

" I can," sez the lad, " sarve yer honour 
with as good tibbacky as ever ye put intil a 
pipe-head." 

" An' have ye much of it ? " sez Dan. 

* Spike Island, in Cork Harbour. 
12 



178 Through the Turf Smoke 



"More nor you'd care to buy/' sez the 
lad. 

" Now what/' sez Dan, sez he, " would ye 
be afther chargin' me for a sizable piece — say 
as much as would reach from me fren's nose 
to the small toe of his left foot? " 

The lad laughed at the quality of the 
ordher, but he knew Dan's odd ways. So, 
he sized the man up and sez he, — 

" I'll take so much," mentionin' some few 
shillin's. 

" It's a bargain," sez Dan. 

But lo an' behould ye! when the lad went 
to misure it he finds the toe gone. 

" There's no toe here! " sez he. 

" I know there isn't," sez Dan. " Me 
frend buried it in Spek Island a few days 
back. Ye'll have to carry on the tibbacky 
till ye git there." 

The lad laughed heartily at this, as bein' 
wan of Dan's best jokes. 

But Dan didn't laugh at all, at all. 

But, " Troth, an'," sez he, " I hope ye'll 
be laughin' when ye've finished misurin' me 
out me bargain." 

" Och, Counsellor, yer honour," sez the 



The Counsellor 179 



lad, sez he, " but sure ye don't railly mane 
it? Isn't it jokin' ye are." 

" I tell ye what it is, me good man/' sez 
Dan back to him, "you misure me out me 
bargain, an' be very quick about it, too; or, 
if ye don't," sez he, "be all the books in 
Chrissendom, I won't laive a slate on yer 
roof, or a stick or stave on yer primises I 
won't sell out till I have paid meself the 
sum of five thousan' poun' for braich of con- 
thract," sez he, "an* here's me witness." 

" It's ruinated I am entirely, out an' out," 
sez the lad. 

" It's ruinated ye desarve to be," sez Dan. 
" Ye thought little of ruinatin' this poor 
sthranger here beside me, when he come up 
to Dublin with his little grain of cattle, 
sthrivin' to make a support for the wife an' 
childre. It's ruinated ye ought to be, ye low- 
lifed hang-dog ye! Turn the daicent man 
out his cattle this instant, in as good condi- 
tion as you got them, an' moreover nor that, 
laive with him the price of the two baistes 
which ye paid him, as a slight compinsation 
for the mintal throuble you have caused the 
poor fella. Then I'll forgive ye yer bargain, 



180 Through the Turf Smoke 



on condition that, as long as ye live in Dub- 
lin, ye'll never again thry to take in the poor 
an' the stranger, an' bring a bad name on the 
town! " 

An' with a light heart, an' a heavy pocket, 
that poor man went home to his wife an' 
childre afther all; an' all by raison of Dan's 
cuteness. 

But, I darsay, about the cliverest an' the 
long-headest thrick ever poor Dan — God be 
good till him! — wrought, it was on the land- 
lord of the Head Inns in Dublin. An' it 
was this way. 

It seems there was a poor travellin' man, 
a tinker be trade, goin' about, an' whatsom- 
iver he had to do with the landlord of the 
Dublin Head Inns, I don't rightly know, an' 
can't tell for feerd to tell a lie; but anyhow 
the landlord of the Head Inns both chaited 
an' ill-thraited the poor man, an' kicked him 
out of his house; an' howsomdiver it was the 
landlord was within his rights be law — for, 
be the same token it's many's the wrong to 
the poor, the forlorn, an' the friendless that 
same law covers. And when the poor tinker, 
bein' advised by the Dublin people, went an' 



The Counsellor 181 



give in his case to Dan, Dan toul' him so in 
as many words. 

" An' can nothing be done to the oul' cur- 
mudgeon, at all, at all?" says the tinker. 

" Yis," Dan says, " something can be done, 
if ye put yerself in my hands." 

So, off Dan takes the poor tinker, an' had 
him shaved an' washed, an' dhressed up in 
wan of his own best shoots of clothes, till he 
looked the very picthur of a grand gintle- 
man, an' then, givin' him his diractions, Dan 
sent him off. Straight he made for the 
Head Inns, an' walkin' up to the counther as 
boul' as ye plaise, he took the landlord's 
curtshy, an' give him back a betther. 

" Can ye commedate me with lodgin's 
here, landlord," says he — " bed an' boord for 
the next six months?" talkin' the very 
grandest English. 

" Sartinly, we can," sez the landlord. 

" I've just landed from J arminy," sez he, 
" an' I called on me fren' Counsellor O'Con- 
nell, an' he recommended me here, as the 
best Inns in town. Now," sez he, " I want 
to hire yer front parlour all for meself, an' 
I want ye to name the tarms for the same, 



182 Through the Turf Smoke 



an' use of yer hall for me parcels an' be- 
longing." 

" The front parlour all to yerself," sez the 
landlord, "'ill cost ye a gay penny, throth, 
— ye can't have the front parlour of the 
Head Inns in Dublin all to yerself for a song, 
an' the use of my hall for yer belongings — 
it'll cost ye," sez he, "let me see — I can't 
make it ye less nor four-an-sixpence a week, 
bed and boord to be exthra" — for ye know 
in Dublin they don't know when to stop 
chargin'. 

Well an' good, the tarms was accepted, an' 
papers dhrawn up on the agreement imme- 
diately, the Counsellor himself comin' in to 
put his han' to the pen in witness of it. Me 
brave man gets in his thraps without any 
more delay, an' takes possession of the front 
parlour. 

Next mornin', a'most afore the birds had 
begun to call, the landlord was 'wakened out 
of his sleep by hearin' the divil's own tind- 
herary goin' on in the front parlour, right 
beneath him. 

" Paddy! " he shouts to the sarvint, 
" Paddy! get up an' go down an' see what 



The Counsellor 183 



the dickens is the matther with the chap in 
the front parlour that he's risin' such a row 
at this onraisonable hour of the mornin'! 
Sweet sarra saize him for a vagabone! or what 
the divil is he battherin' at, anyhow? " 

Down Paddy went, an' he wasn't there till 
he was back. 

" Och, masther! " says he, " yon bates 
crayation! " 

"Why? why? what the norra's the mat- 
ther?" 

" Och, nobbut ax me what the norra isn't 
the matther. It's open the door I did, an' 
looked in, an' there I sees me brave lad that 
hired yer front parlour, sittin' on the bare 
floore in a shoot of clothes ye wouldn't 
handle with a pair of tongs, a sotherin'* iron 
one side of him, a kit of tools the other side, 
as good as a barrow-load of ould sausspans 
an' tin-cans scatthered all over yer parlour; 
an' the buck himself with the anvil atween 
his knees, an' he hammerin' away for the 
bare life, puttin' a bottom in a kettle! Je- 
roo-salem, such a sight, masther dear! Sez 
I to him when I got my tongue with me, sez 

* Soldering. 



184 Through the Turf Smoke 



I: 'Me masther sends his compliments an' 
wants to know what are ye doin' ? ' * An'/ 
sez the lad, raichin' for a skillet to begin 
secondly on, an' without as much as lookin' 
up, sez he, ' tell yer masther that I send my 
compliments, an' I'm doin' what it would be 
fitther he was doin' — mindin' me own busi- 
ness.' — There's for ye, masther! " 

But his masther didn't wait to hear the 
end of it till he was below himself, an' 
bouncin' intil the middle of the skillets, he 
lets a tearin'-ouns out of him an' — 

"What? What? What's this tarnation 
tomfoolery about?" sez he, "in my front 
parlour? or what do ye mane at all, at all? " 

But the lad was whistlin' like a mavis on 
May-day, an' timin' himself makin' a new 
tin on the anvil, an' the sorra a answer he 
made him, but went on as unconsarned as 
iver. 

" I say, ye scoundhril ye," sez the land- 
lord, kickin' one of the skillets clean out 
through the window, "get up out of that, 
an' clear out 0' this yerself an' yer thrumpery 
in double quick time, afore I call in the polis, 
an' make them do their duty." 



The Counsellor 185 



But the tinker got up, an' rowlin' up his 
sleeves, sez he, — 

" Now, I'll tell ye what it is, ye ouP cur- 
mudgeon ye, get away you out of here, in 
double quick time, or I'll make these jintle- 
men" — referrin' to his fists — "do their duty; 
and that jintleman," sez he, plantin' his left 
fist under the curmudgeon's nose, "that 
jintleman," sez he, "is named Six-months-in- 
hospital; and this wan here," plantin' his 
right fist in the same position, " this jintle- 
man is styled Sudden-daith. I was poor, an' 
lone, an' fren'less the other day," sez he, 
" an' ye oul' sinner ye, ye took me in, an' ye 
had me abused an' ill-traited bekase ye knew 
the law was on yer side. Now I have both 
fren's an' law, an' I've writin's on this room 
for six months to come, an' I'm detarmined 
to make what'll pay me boord out of it, or 
know the raison why. Out now, ye oul' im- 
posther! Out 0' my room, an' don't set yer 
dhirty foot in it, nor show yer forbid- 
din' countenance in it till this day six 
months. Out now, ye oul' speciment ye! 
Out!" 

An' lo and behould! the next thing was, 



i86 Through the Turf Smoke 



there appears in the front parlour windy a 
dhirty paper settin' off, — 

" To the enlightened Publick of Ireland, 
England, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. 
Old Pottes mended as good as ever, likewise 
repay red. Likewise Kettals, including 
Other Tin-cans and implements of a Like 
nature. Alsoe Saucepans and Frinepans. 
Not Forgettin' Skillets. P. S. — You can 
get In new loitammes while you wate. 
P. S. — You are requestioned to Leave All 
instruments for repayr in the hall. P. S. 
— Tliis is the cheepest house in town for 
gettin' in A new bottam." 

An' that was the scene it bangs me to de- 
scribe! But the notice wasn't half an hour 
up, with the landlord goin' about through 
his house, up an' down, ragin' and swearin' 
and kicking every wan come in his way, till 
half Dublin was round the house, readin' the 
notice in the parlour windy, an' watchin' 
the lad tinkerin' away an' whistlin' away in- 
side, an' wonclherin' what had come over the 
landlord of the Dublin Head Inns to let his 
front parlour to a tinker. An' then again, 



The Counsellor 187 



when the customers begun to come roun' — 
for the Head Inns was pathronized by the 
Lord Mayor himself, an' all the first genthry 
in Dublin — when they begun to come round 
for their mornin' wet an' heared a tinker 
tinkerin' in the parlour, an' saw the hall 
panged up with footless pots, an' bottomless 
skillets, an oul' vithiran tin-cans — "Why," 
they says, " it's a low-come-down day with 
the Dublin Head Inns, when this is the 
thrade's goin' on in it, an' it's betther for 
us to push on an' find a daicent house to get 
a dhrink in." An' afore night there wasn't 
an oul' customer that hadn't disarted an' 
taken up their quarters elsewhere, till the 
landlord had to call in Counsellor O'Connell, 
an' by his advice go on his two bare knees 
to the tinker an' ax his pardon, an' his par- 
don over again, an' promise to behave him- 
self in future with daicency to the sthranger 
an' the poor, an' give the tinker a good 
round penny to give up the writin's he had 
on the front parlour, an' clear out, himself 
an' his kit, which he did the very next 
mornin' with a fatter purse than when he 
went in. 



188 Through the Turf Smoke 



That was Dan for ye! 

May the soft "bed, an' the sweet wan, in 
Paradise be his that nivir forsook the poor 
an' the disthressed! God Almighty rest 
him! an' Amen! Amen! 



The Masther and the Bocca 
Fadh 



The Masther and the Bocca 
Fadh* 



He was a specious villain, was the Bocca 
Fadh, but resourceful, tactful — clever, in the 
narrowest sense of the word. Ignorant 
though he was, a glib tongue and an auda- 
cious — almost brazen — self-confidence made 
him pass in the eyes of the neighbours for a 
sage, a long-headed fellow, a knowledgable 
man. He was a source of wonder — some- 
times of awe — to the neighbours themselves, 
and a source of terror to the neighbours' 
childre, particularly to those of them who 
were attending school. " Looking for his 
share," as he was (though a stranger might 
well be surprised to see such a fine fellow, in 
the prime of life, looking for his living so), 
he put up where he list, made himself at 
home where he would, and by the fireside at 
* Long Beggar man. 



192 Through the Turf Smoke 

night put the youngsters " through their 
facin's," as he termed it — that is, when he 
had partaken heartily of the plentiful sup- 
per placed before him, and carefully placed 
his wallets and his staff in the chimney cor- 
ner, and lit his pipe and crossed his legs, he 
condescended to inquire, — 

" Well, Aillie, how is the childre advanc- 
ing in their curriculum of secularity? " 

"Well, musha, Jaimie" (the Bocca Fadh 
was J aimie), " the norra wan of meself well 
knows how are they gettin' along at the larn- 
in' — for I know that's what you mane, only 
you put it in a polite way — the norra one of 
me well knows how they do be gettin' on; 
but wee Gracie and Johnnie they do have 
the eyes sthrained out of their head 0' nights, 
lyin' down on the h'arthstone, and thryin' 
to spell by the light of the grisiog* an' ques- 
kinin' wan another on their books. It's often 
I do be tellin' them that the first night you'd 
be with us I'd get ye to try them to see what 
speed are they comin'. Maybe ye'd be so 
kind as to put a queskin or two on them, 
just to satisfy yerself, an' to satisfy me." 
* Smouldering peats. 



The Masther and the Bocca Fadh 193 

" Yes, Aillie, I'll do that," and he looks in 
the direction of Gracie and Johnnie, who 
have now hid themselves behind their 
mother's skirts in mortal terror of the ordeal. 

tl Come out, Gracie, a leanbli; an' Johnnie, 
a tJieasge* come out, an' go over there with 
yer Spellin' Book till Misther Haraghey puts 
queskins on yez. That's the childre — hould 
up yer wee heads now an' show him how 
much ye larned since the last time he thried 
yez. That's the good childre; raich him the 
book now." 

And the Bocca Fadh takes the book from 
the trembling hand of little Gracie with the 
cynical air of one who, having taken all 
knowledge for his province, feels naught but 
the utmost repugnance to the touch of an 
elementary spelling-book. In one hand he 
takes the candle which Aillie has lighted for 
him, and drawing it close to the book, which 
is held wrong side up in the other, he dips 
into the book here and there, muttering 
" Imph! " at each dipping, with an easy non- 
chalance deftly turning the leaves by means 
of a few disengaged fingers, as one who had 

* (Pron. a haisge) Treasure. 



194 Through the Turf Smoke 



spent his life among books. In a short few 
minutes he seems to have got the gist of it, 
and flings the book from him with a bored 
air. 

" Well, boy, what class are you locationed 
in?" 

" He's axin' ye, J ohnnie, dear, what class 
ye're in," the mother says in a deferential 
undertone to the dumbfounded Johnnie. 

" Please, sir, in the class next the heap of 
thurf," Johnnie tremblingly replies. 

"Imph! imph! imph! " and the Bocca 
Fadh stretches his legs and knocks the ashes 
out of his pipe as if preparing for serious 
work "Imph! and, my good man, can you 
or can your sisther consther to me, — 

' In mudeelis, in clanonis; 
Infirtaris, in oaknonis' ?"* 

" Oh, Misther Haraghey," the mother 
pleads, " but ye know they haven't raiched 
the Jarmin or the Latin yet. The chile's 
but young. If God'll spare him to us, I 
thrust he'll know them yet. Thry him on 
somethin' in the Spellin' Book." 

* In mud eel is, in clay none is ; 
In fir tar is, in oak none is. 



The Masther and the Bocca Fadh 195 



" Haybrew, Aillie — that was a thrifle 01 
Haybrew. If ye desire me to tackle him on 
the Jarmin, or on any other of the dead 
langidges, I'll be happy to obligate ye." 

" Oh, no, no, Misther Haraghey, it's your- 
self could do that same, but just thry him 
on the Spellin' Book — himself and wee 
Gracie." 

" Very well, Aillie, I'll start him a small 
queskin in the Coney Sections at your re- 
quist. — As I was journeyin' to Sent Ives, I 
met a man with seven wives, an' every wife 
had seven sacks; in every sack there was 
seven cats, an' every cat had seven kittens — 
now, kittens, cats, sacks, an' wives, how 
many went to the fair of Sent Ives? That's 
just a small thrifle, Aillie, to test the childre 
in their Coney Sections." 

" Now, J ohnnie, a gradh"* the mother 
whispered, encouragingly. 

" Ah, mammy," Johnnie said grievingly, 
"the Masther didn't put me on to Coney 
Sections yet — we're only at i Stir the fire 
and put on more coal.' " 

"Imph!" said Misther Haraghey, as he 

* (Pron. a gra) Love. 



196 Through the Turf Smoke 



shook his snuff-box and helped himself lav- 
ishly, without tendering a pinch to Aillie. 
" Let me see, now, what ye know about Bo- 
tan-ny — me good little girl," — but his man- 
ner and tone implied, my very had little girl. 
" Me good little girl, can you tell me whether 
was it Julius Caesar or Michael Augustinian 
Angel-o that first discovered and explored 
the Immortality of the Soul?" 

Gracie tried her very best to be brave, but 
the Bocca Fadh's ordnance was too heavy 
for her. Her under lip quickly showed 
signs of wavering — it trembled perceptibly, 
then two big tears dimmed the bright blue 
of her eyes; they started out — she gave way, 
and beat a hasty retreat behind her mother. 

"A mhilis, a mhilis!"* said the mother, 
taking little Gracie in her arms and hugging 
her. "AYhisht! whisht! a stor: sure Misther 
Haraghey wouldn't turn a hair on me own 
darlin's yalla head. A learibh, a learibli mo 
chroidlie! \ don't cry like that, or what are 
you afeerd of at all, at all? " 

" Oh, mammie, mammie, I'm afeerd of 

* (Pron. a villish) My Sweet. 

f (Pron. allaniv mo chree) Child of my heart. 



The Masther and the Bocca Fadh 197 



the Bocca Fadh. He doesn't give queskins 
like the Masther. Mammie, keep me 
here." 

Johnnie, a better soldier, still firmly held 
his ground. 

The Bocca Fadh looked calmly, indiffer- 
ently, into the fire, and remarked to it, — 

" I have only two other questions to de- 
nounciate, an' if ye answer me I'll have the 
shupreme sensation of awardin' yer mother's 
son shupairior markifications. Both queskins 
is in Divine-ity. Can you dimonsthrate 
or tell to me, me fine young man, what 
is the connection between the Bloody Wars 
an' the Comics seen in the sky — refarred to 
in Holy Writ, eighteenth and nineteenth of 
Revolutions, thirteenth chapture, nine-an'- 
twintieth an' following varses? Ye cannot? 
Well, now for the next, a simplified one. 
Can you prove from the canine laws of the 
Holy Roman Church (one Faith an' one Bap- 
tism) that the time an' times an' half a time 
preydicted by Columbkille for the landin' of 
the Spaniards at Dinnygal must occur in the 
present reign of the thirteenth King an' 
Queen of harasy in England — Victoria bein' 



198 Through the Turf Smoke 



both King and Queen — Queen of England 
and Emperor of Indiay?" 

Brave as J ohnnie was, this last assault was 
too much for him, he felt. So he, in turn, 
struck his flag and retreated rapidly also to 
the shelter of his mother's skirts. Johnnie 
did not cry; that would have been unmanly. 
But he could not deny to himself that he felt 
a curious sort of choking in the throat, which 
was only relieved by the gentle stroking of 
his white head by his mother's disengaged 
hand. 

" Misther Haraghey," the mother said, 
" it's you's the long-headed man. But I'm 
afeerd ye're too deep for wee Johnnie an' 
Gracie, that hasn't got on far with their 
larnin' yet." 

"Oh, Missis Gallagher," the Bocca, feel- 
ing disposed to be generous under the influ- 
ence of Aillie's sincere compliment, said, 
"they're two brave smart childre, God bliss 
them to ye! Of course they were a wee bit 
nonplushed, but on the whole they've done 
fairly well — fairly well. I have great hopes 
of them, though, of course, they don't yet 
figure up to my iday-al. But they're only 



The Masther and the Bocca Fadh 199 



young — they're only young yet. An' to be 
sure, too, any little short-comin's I have ex- 
posed is more to be laid at their Masther's 
door than at their own. Atween yerself an' 
me, Missis Gallagher, my opinion of Masther 
Whoriskey's tutorical abilities isn't just as 
elevated as it might be. God knows the op- 
portunities I got for the cultivation of my 
intelligence was scanty enough; but thanks 
be to Him for kind marcies, what little op- 
portunities I got I made the most of, which 
made me the scholart ye find me — be that 
good, bad, or ondifferent, it's not for me to 
say." 

"Well, I can say, what all the counthry- 
side says, that one would walk long an' thra- 
vel far an' not meet the bate of the Bocca 
Fadh." 

" Oh, now, ye make me blush, Missis Gal- 
lagher. Ye do indeed. I'm afeerd I must 
deny the allegation, it's too much entirely, 
too much to say of a poor, neglected, forlorn, 
orphan boy, that " 

"An' more nor that, Misther Haraghey, 
let me tell ye that the counthryside says it 
was a blissin' from Providence ye didn't get 



200 Through the Turf Smoke 

more opportunities, for they say that, like 
every other great jaynis that come afore ye, 
ye're brain would have turned with the fair 
dint of the larnin' — ye would have larned on 
afore ye, they say, till yer very head would 
burst open with it. As it is, they say, they 
don't know how ye stand all ye do know. 
There's for ye, now, if ye must know the 
truth of it! " 

" Oh, Missis Gallagher, Missis Gallagher, 
this is too much entirely — too much entirely. 
I'll not deny, indeed, that Father Pat of the 
Cross-roads an' Father Edward, the curate, 
both give expression to themselves to the 
same effect a night they had me in to argue 
Divine-ity an' Asthronomy again' the two of 
them. I'll not deny it, I say, but as Father 
Pat said about the whiskey they told him 
there was no wather in, it's a resarvation of 
conscience with me whether I believe it or 
no. But as I was goin' to say, Aillie, it's my 
desire to come in confliction with Master 
Whoriskey where an' when he pleases, in the 
presence of witnesses, an' I won't begrudge 
to him all he'll be able to crow over the 
Bocca Fadh when he's done with him." 



The Masther and the Bocca Fadh 201 



The Bocca Fadh was sowing broadcast 
these indirect challenges to the Masther. 
Naturally, too, they were not without some 
effect in the country. The neighbours en- 
countered them so frequently that a deal of 
fireside debating on the respective merits of 
the Bocca Fadh and the Masther was the 
natural result. The Masther himself, who 
at first professed to treat with the most sub- 
lime contempt " the lucubrations of that im- 
pecunious vagrant," was at length compelled 
to treat them seriously, and consented to 
meet the Bocca Fadh in intellectual combat 
on the Sunday night before Christmas in 
the Bummadier's. Over the whole country- 
side the news went like wildfire, causing 
much commotion and excited debate. 
Henceforward, till the great night arrived, 
little else was spoken of, and though it was 
generally believed that the Masther must 
score a success, there was a large and grow- 
ing section who championed the Beggarman, 
and sturdily maintained " that the Masther 
would have more nor a dish to wash " ere 
he'd have done with his opponent. In the 
meantime the Masther was in a very serious 



202 Through the Turf Smoke 

mood; the Bocca Fadh in his lightest, most 
indifferent, most off-hand. The Masther had 
everything to lose; the Bocca everything to 
gain. 

The eventful night came. The Bumma- 
dier's was more than usually packed. The 
Bocca Fadh, with his wallet and cudgel, oc- 
cupied the corner. He was even more jaunty 
than usual. He held deeper subjects in re- 
serve; told his gayest stories, cracked his 
driest jokes, and treated on any and every 
subject save the intellectual one. The Bocca 
had come to dinner; the Masther didn't ap- 
pear till the arranged time of meeting — after 
night. Despite very apparent efforts to the 
contrary, the Masther exhibited decided 
tokens of nervousness in his look and man- 
ner. When he entered, a subdued and re- 
spectful murmur of salutation greeted him. 
To the more prominent neighbours present 
he nodded thanks, and took his seat in the 
middle of the house. Then, his opportunity 
being come, the Beggarman rose in his place 
with a stiff grace, and making a low bow to 
the Masther, said, — 

" Benediction with thee, Masther Whoris- 



The Masther and the Bocca Fadh 203 



key, and I bid you welcome. But afther his 
nocturanial paramulation " — here he ad- 
dressed the company — " from his residential 
habitation to Cornelius Higerty's abode, 
won't my larned friend deign to approach in 
more contagious proximity with the confla- 
gration here provided for him by the luxuri- 
ant bounty of the inhabitant ? 99 

This was the first gun from the enemy. It 
had been, doubtless, long loaded and primed; 
but with such promptitude and unexpected- 
ness did it go off, and with such address was 
it delivered, that it caused more than mo- 
mentary embarrassment — almost consterna- 
tion — in the opposite, unalert camp. 

But in a few moments the Masther had 
got to his feet and returned the Bocca's bow, 
in an infinitely more graceful and stately 
fashion. He said, as he approached to take 
the vacant seat in the opposite chimney 
corner, — 

" To accede to the requisition of my itin- 
erant friend, the object of our eleemosynary 
regards, vouchsafes me more rapturous de- 
light than is within the circumscribed com- 
prehension of any bifurcated individual be- 



204 Through the Turf Smoke 



neath the status of a lexicographer to 
express." 

The return fire, through delay, was not 
quite as damaging as it should have been. 
The audience mentally scored one for the 
Beggarman. 

The brazen rascal, too, seeing the Mas- 
ther's nervousness, saw therein material for 
unfair advantage. During the delivery of 
his next fire he had the cool audacity to take 
out his pipe, knock the ashes out of it 
against the chimney-brace, suck it to see if 
it drew well — interrupting his discourse for 
that purpose, and proceeded to refill it. He 
said, with the most villainous nonchalance, — 

" Joe-ology, Al-/a?/-bra, Thrigonomethry, 
Fluxions, Joe-ography, Jurie's Prudence, the 
Confluxion of the Systems, Di-sectation, 
Magne-foVim, Sequesthrations, Disquisitions, 
Mathematicians, or the Influential Carcas- 
ses* — on which of all is it your requisition 
and prefermentation that I should test your 
eruditional accomplishments, sir? " 

The Beggar scored again, the scoundrel! 

* The Beggar had evidently heard mention of the 
Differential Calculus. 



The Masther and the Bocca Fadh 205 



From the shaking of heads and whispering 
with which this one was received around the 
house, there was no mistaking it. 

" Sir," the Masther replied with a magnifi- 
cent scorn that regained him much of his 
lost ground, " from my intellectual altitudes 
I gaze down with the most inexpressible con- 
tempt alloyed with disdainful commiseration 
on the pitiable aggregation and accumulation 
of unmitigated balderdash with which you 
have the audacious temerity to address me. 
Sir, of all subjects in the educational cur- 
riculum of this or any other country in the 
universe, from the Alpha to the Omega of 
the same, select and indicate one, and I shall 
instantaneously proceed to expose your unut- 
terable ignorance to the gaze of a commiser- 
ating public." 

" Very well, then, on the Confluxions of 
the Systems Fll take you." 

" Avaunt, sirra! avaunt! " and the Masther 
waived his hand disdainfully. 

"Having maximum magnitudes granted, 
how would you calculate for me the number 
of jags in a cart of whins* in accordance 
* Furze. 



2o6 Through the Turf Smoke 



with the fundamental principles of Joe- 
ology?" 

They were coming to close quarters. 

" Sir, if I buy a horse at one farthing for 
the first nail in his shoe, a halfpenny for the 
second, one penny for the third, and hence 
doubling till the thirty-second nail; how 
much will defray the gross total cost of the 
quadruped ? " 

But the Beggarman without a moment's 
delay came along with his answer; and it was 
this-wise, — 

" Adduce from Harry Stotle's* Commen- 
taries the proof regardin' who made Hiram's 
breeches." 

ei My peregrinating itinerant, here's one to 
stop your mouth;- — 

* It 's down in yon meadow I tethered my ass, 
Where lie fruitful acres well stored with grass ; 
How long must the cord be when — ' " 

" Maybe it's on the Influential Carcasses 
ye'd soonest be taken. Here's at ye, then — 
Are you prepared to paragonically dimon- 
sthrate to this company how many yards of 
* Aristotle's. 



The Masther and the Bocca Fadh 207 



buttermilk would make a nightcap for Bin- 
ban mountain ? " 

" 'How long must the cord be when feeding all round, 
He won't graze less or more than two acres of 
ground ? ' 

— Elucidate me that, sirra! " 

u Being given the sacrificial contain- 
ments/' the Bocca said, by way of elucida- 
tion, " can you arrogate for my information 
how many faddoms of wind went through 
the chancel windy of Dinnygal Abbey last 
Janiary? " 

(" Faix," the breathless neighbours re- 
marked, " the Bocca Fadh is givin' it hard 
to the poor Masther/') 

" Sirra," the Masther said, " can you en- 
lighten us who wrote Csesar's Com-ment- 
aries? " 

" Now for a thrifle out of Asthronomy. 
Taking our start from the paralysis of the 
hypothenuse, can you calculate, enmerate, 
an' dimonsthrate the number of bottles of 
smoke in a cart of wet turf? " 

(" Troth, the same Bocca has more in his 
head nor a comb would take out. The poor 
Masther's goin J to the back-han\") 



2o8 Through the Turf Smoke 



" Sir, who or what was Cornelius Nepos? 
and exemplify and illustrate for us the 
Copernican System of the Universe, and like- 
Wise say who was the probable author of the 
Odes of Horace (Smith's Translation)." 

" I shall now proceed to take you," said 
the Beggarman calmly, as he wiped the stem 
of the pipe upon his sleeve, and tendered it 
across the fire to his opponent — " I shall 
now, I announce, proceed to take you upon 
Biblical Commentation an' the elements of 
Hydrophobia. Devolve the south an' cir- 
cular sides of a three-year-old whinstone, an* 
proove the same by the kibe an' square roots 
of Joe-omethry an' Thrigonomethry." 

" Sir, I hereby challenge and defy you to 
Square the Circle, discover the Unknown 
Quantity, and elucidate the theory of Per- 
petual Motion." 

(" The Masther's queskins is wonderfully 
clivir, no doubts, but they haven't in them 
the same grit's in the Bocca's.") 

" Can ye say for a sartinty whom was 
Jinisis's* eldermost uncle on the mother's 

* The Bocca is in all probability referring to Gen- 
esis. 



The Masther and the Bocca Fadh 209 

side, and prove the same by the totality of 
Fluxions?" 

" Ye can't do ' Good morrow to \je, naybour, 
with yer twenty geese — ' " 

" A small little queskin now to testify 
your knowledge of horty-culture. How 
many steps was in Jacob's laddher, calcu- 
lated according to the mean solar distance 
of the equinoctials?" 

Yes, the Masther was no match for this 
charlatan — he was not possessed of enough 
systematic ignorance blent with a good blend 
of villainy. 

He was somewhat tardy in coming on with 
his reply. 

u Do you adhere to the austere doctrines 
promulgated by the learned Socrates, or the 
more sensuous ones of Epicurus? Give your 
reasons, and likewise state your opinion of 
the respective merits of Sophocles and Da- 
rius. From whom is the quotation ' a rara 
avis in terra 5 taken, and give a literal trans- 
lation?" 

" Another simple one out of Genufluxions. 
Prove from the Scriptures, Ould an' New 
Testymints, that Tobias's dog had a tail, an' 
14 



210 Through the Turf Smoke 

propound the paragorical projection of the 
same." 

But the Masther was wiping the perspira- 
tion from his brow — the mental tension was 
at its utmost. He replied not. The Bocca 
Fadh seized the opportunity, and rising to 
his feet delivered himself of his carefully 
prepared coup de grace. He said, with his 
grandest, most rascally assumptive air, — 

" Let no charlatanical fop dare dispute the 
atrocious voracity of my achromatical quali- 
fications, for I am a heterogeneous cosmopo- 
lite, perambulating and differentiating intri- 
cate problematics throughout the extension 
of the different localities which I have mes- 
merized into a conglomerated catastrophe! " 

And the scoundrel sat down in the lap of 
victory! 



Father Dan and Fiddlers Four 



Father Dan and Fiddlers Four 



After his love for God, and his love for 
his flock, Father Dan loved music. Good 
music, that is; for he confessed he never 
could listen to a scoundrel murdering music, 
but his hand would be itching to give him 
a dressing with his blackthorn staff. 

Anyhow, once, on an old Lammas Day, 
there had been a wedding above in Cora- 
meen-lusk, a son of Ned Baccagh's with 
Winny Neil Mhor, and the father and mother 
of a good spree it was. Nothing less than 
four fiddlers. Three houses under the party. 
Whiskey go leor, and meat and drink to all 
comers. As was only to be expected, a spree 
on such a liberal scale had been prolonged 
into the next afternoon. Coming on even- 
ing the four fiddlers found themselves at the 
Knockagar Cross — the parting of their ways. 
As was also only to be expected of fiddlers 



214 Through the Turf Smoke 

coming from a feast, their manner was effu- 
sive. It was distressing to part. They al- 
ternately cuffed and kissed each other, sang 
and scolded. Finally, I regret to say, they 
were surrounded by two peelers, who in the 
Queen's name arrested them as disturbers of 
the peace of the realm, and marched them 
straight — or at least as straight as the pecu- 
liar circumstances would permit — to Mr. 
McClane's. This they accomplished by 
means of their clever tactical skill. For 
they seized upon the fiddles, not the men; 
and where their fiddles went there would 
the fiddlers follow. Arrived at Mr. Mc- 
Clane's, and inveigled into his office, they 
were arraigned and solemnly charged that 
they, Michael Scanlan, of Meenauish-beg, 
in the parish of Killymard; Thaddeus Mc- 
Dermott, of Meenauish-more, in the parish 
aforesaid, and Nail O'Byrne and Peter 
Throwers, both of Throwerst'own, in the 
parish of Drimholm, and County of Done- 
gal, were found drunk and behaving in a 
riotous and disorderly manner at the cross 
roads of Knockagar, in the parish of Inver, 
to the great alarm, annoyance, and distress 



Father Dan and Fiddlers Four 215 

of Her Gracious Majesty's most well-beloved 
and dutiful subjects in the townland and 
parish aforementioned — or words to that 
elfect. Though the cold fact — apart from 
its legal aspect — was that not a lone one of 
the aforesaid dutiful and well-beloved sub- 
jects was alarmed, annoyed, and distressed, 
or would be alarmed, annoyed, and dis- 
tressed, or anything but highly entertained, 
had the four devoted disciples of Orpheus 
prolonged their orgie till Christmas Day 
dawned on them. But law is law, and, of 
course, fact has got no raison d'etre within 
its province. 

Just then Father Dan jogged up to the 
magistrate's door, on Forgiveness. The 
name of Father Dan's old gray mare, his 
faithful servant, day out, day in, in fair 
and in foul weather, midday and midnight 
for close upon thirty years was Forgiveness — 
whereby hangeth a tale not strictly within the 
scope of this history. Father Dan jogged eas- 
ily up on Forgiveness, and letting himself off, 
he entered, while Forgiveness went to graze 
soberly by the wayside. Going in and find- 
ing four men there arraigned, and hearing 



216 Through the Turf Smoke 

the charge, he said, " Oh! these scoundrels 
from Killymard and Drimholm coming into 
my parish to disgrace it and to bring a bad 
name on it with their drinking and their 
squabbling like a parcel of thravelling tink- 
ers — ye must make an example of them, Mr. 
McClane — make an example of them! A 
month in jail with a hammer in their fist 
from cock-crow till bedtime will be a big 
help to their manners, and to the manners 
of every other villain of them coming into 
my parish for the time to come. A month 
in jail with hard labour and half rations — 
nothing less will be of any use, Mr. 
McClane! " 

Then the spoils of war, the four fiddles, 
caught Father Dan's eye. 

"What? Fiddles! Fiddlers? Ye but- 
cher music, hey, do ye? Yer villainies 
wouldn't be complete without that." 

And he insisted on each displaying his 
skill (or else), on his instrument. And, as 
it proved, they were four of as sweet fiddlers 
as tirrled a bow in the two baronies. And 
they completely comethered good Father Dan, 
whose inherent respect for good musicians 



Father Dan and Fiddlers Four 217 

asserted itself, so that he said they were 
good men gone wrong, gravely pointed out 
to them the enormity of their crime, evoked 
from them a hearty promise of amendment, 
showed Mr. McClane that, after all, he be- 
lieved the nominal fine of a shilling each and 
costs would, on the occasion of this their 
first offence, appease the offended dignity of 
the law, out of his own pocket paid the 
money down on the nail, and in front of 
himself and Forgiveness marched them to 
his house, " till he'd give the creatures a pick 
to ate, and a wash and a brush and a heat 
of the fire, and put the poor fellows on their 
legs, and pack them for home." 

And in spite of all old Kitty Byrne's 
grumbling — Kitty had been his housekeeper 
since first he had a house to keep — and Kitty 
was the only tyrant, other than his boy Bar- 
ney, whom Father Dan feared — despite all 
Kitty's grumblings against the house being 
turned into a cow market, Father Dan in- 
sisted on their washing and brushing, and 
on Kitty's serving up at the kitchen-table 
a plentiful meal — of which, to tell truth, 
they were sadly in need. And despite all 



218 Through the Turf Smoke 

Kitty's acrid personalities about making Tier 
house the randyvoo for all the thramp fid- 
dlers and thramp fluters from end to wind 
of the county, with many other equally 
pleasant remarks, and many very dismal pro- 
phecies of where all this blather-skitin' was 
going to end, her four guests made a right 
hearty meal, for which they thanked God 
when they had done; and then thanked 
Father Dan; and finally, to Kitty's utter ex- 
asperation, thanked her — and wished her a 
long life and a sweet temper. 

Finding they had finished their meal, 
Father Dan ushered them into his own little 
parlour, he going in front, laden with the 
four fiddles and with as many bitter re- 
proaches as Kitty could contrive to pile on 
him ere he got all in and the door closed in 
the enemy's face. Then Father Dan seated 
the four and put his fiddle into the hands of 
each, and took down his own fiddle (at which 
he was no mean adept) from over the mantel, 
and proceeded to get it into tune, keenly re- 
joicing all the while in the prospect of a 
long, pleasant evening. 

But it took his guests an extraordinarily 



Father Dan and Fiddlers Four 219 

long time to tune theirs, and divers myste- 
rious looks and winks passed between them 
which Father Dan was neither slow to receive 
nor to interpret. The short and the long of 
it was that the fiddlers wanted what they 
themselves would have styled elbow grease, 
but which in the plain man's dictionary is 
spelled poteen. Musical preparations were 
then temporarily suspended while Father 
Dan produced a quart bottle three-quarters 
filled, out of which after a bit of very serious 
and very paternal advice against the abuse 
of whiskey, to which the four lent a filial ear, 
he gave them a glass apiece, which made 
their eyes kindle; and they invoked blessings 
on his head, informed him that it put a new 
sowl in them, and in token thereof gave a 
particularly lively jig by way of flourish, the 
manner of which promised well for an enjoy- 
able night. 

Then Father Dan got himself seated, and 
all five of them gave " The Blackbird " so 
excellently as to draw the tears to the good 
man's eyes. Then there was less or more 
friction, for whilst Father Dan wanted some 
of Moore, his friends were loud for jigs and 



22o Through the Turf Smoke 



strathspeys, favourites of their own. They 
compromised on " An Shiadh Sidhe." 
When things seemed again to be going 
smoothly, everyone of the five putting his 
soul into the music, the sound of wheels was 
faintly heard by Father Dan; the sound 
ceased opposite the door; he succeeded in 
silencing the music in time to hear Kitty's 
greeting at the door responded to in the well- 
known voice of Dr. McGilligan, the Bishop! 

Father Dan, in one awe-stricken glance, 
took in the room with its five fiddlers — four 
of them as disreputable-looking as ever sat 
in a priest's parlour — nursing their fiddles 
around a table on which was a stout quart 
bottle and a glass, and inwardly he asked 
himself why he was born! " The Bishop! " 
was all he could ejaculate to his startled com- 
panions. But that was enough. Quicker- 
witted or perhaps less frightened than he, 
the four musicians as with one accord popped 
under the table, fiddles and all; and one of 
them, seized with sudden presence of mind, 
put up a long arm from the hiding-place and 
bore off the bottle just one moment ere the 
good old Bishop, in his own familiar way, 



Father Dan and Fiddlers Four 221 

walked in unannounced. The table-cloth of 
generous amplitude let fall its ends to the 
floor around the table; and so Father Dan 
had half recovered himself, sufficiently re- 
covered himself anyhow to greet his Bishop 
warmly, and thanked him profusely for the 
honour of this unexpected visit. The good 
Bishop instantly made himself at home, seat- 
ing himself in an arm-chair to one side of 
the fireplace, his side to the fire and his face 
to the room. The sight of a glass on the 
table naturally turned the Doctor's discourse 
on the subject of all others nearest his heart, 
the cause of temperance. And as Father 
Dan, with something very much akin to 
twinges of conscience, gave him an encourag- 
ing account of the progress of the cause in 
his parish, his trial only properly com- 
menced, for the table got a distinct knock 
from below, such as would be caused by the 
heel of an inverted bottle going up suddenly. 
Father Dan conjectured this was but the first 
of a series. And rightly. With a well pre- 
pared cough he half drowned the next rap. 
Proceeding with his discourse, he kept his 
right heel in readiness — by an opportune 



222 Through the Turf Smoke 



crack of which on the floor he confounded 
the following one. A shuffle of his feet 
fairly well confused the next succeeding one. 
But it was getting a trying ordeal. Adroitly 
punctuating his argument by a few raps of his 
knuckles on the table neutralized a few more. 
Thereat taking his cue, he became so demon- 
strative in his argument and clinched his 
points with such and so many blows on the 
table, that he would soon have awaked con- 
jectures in Dr. McGilligan's mind, but that 
gentleman turned his face towards the fire 
for a moment, and the bottle, to Father Dan's 
utter consternation, was rapidly reached out 
from under the table and deposited, of all 
places in the world, under the heavy drap- 
ings that hung from his Lordship's chair! 
An old brown and bony hand, too, had gone 
out from under the table at a few feet 
distant from the rugged one that held the 
bottle (yet quarter-filled), and made a rather 
aimless grab for the bottle, and then retired 
slowly, as it were disappointedly, beneath the 
fringes of the table-cloth again. Though 
this proceeding took barely a few seconds, 
it seemed to Father Dan an hour. Distinct 



Father Dan and Fiddlers Four 223 

beads of perspiration certainly did start on 
his brow; he had not even presence of mind 
to make a noise. But as the mysterious hand 
missed its grab, something, which might be 
a grumble or might be any indistinct sound 
under the moon, was emitted from under the 
table, and the Bishop's eye, Father Dan ob- 
served, detected a swaying in the drapery 
depending from the table. 

Father Dan said " Scat! " and stamped his 
foot. 

"I suppose you are troubled with rats?" 
Dr. McGilligan said. 

" Oh, yes, sometimes — sometimes — annoy- 
ing villains — annoying villains. But as I 
was saying about Father Hugh's parish — " 
and he had the discourse again reverted to 
its proper channel, and was comparatively 
at ease once more. 

But not for long. He observed when the 
Doctor looked any other way than straight 
before him that brown, bony, big hand came 
out on a rambling excursion, darting sud- 
denly back to cover each time the Bishop's 
eye threatened to come back. And he then 
observed a bright eye glistening through a 



224 Through the Turf Smoke 



hole in the table-cloth, at about a foot from 
the ground. And every time the ugly hand 
came out, and grasped, and sprawled, he felt 
an itching to give it a thundering good whack 
of his staff that would cure it of its rambling. 
He had to say " Scat! " several times, when 
he fancied Dr. McGilligan's attention was 
attracted by the slight noises, or by the shak- 
ing of the table-cover. All his endeavours 
to entice Dr. McGilligan to be shown to his 
room, that he might brush himself up after 
his journey, were unavailing, for his Lord- 
ship would persist in having out his chat 
first. 

The hand had come out about the tenth 
time, and had gone rambling and fumbling 
in the direction of the Bishop's chair, and 
had swiftly retreated on false alarms, and 
slowly gone forth, and rapidly come back, 
and hesitatingly gone pioneering again, until 
just as Kitty Byrne appeared with a lapful 
of turf for the fire, a second even uglier hand 
— and both were left hands — had crept out, 
and both were making ineffectual darts at 
something unseen by Kitty. She suddenly 
stopped short on first seeing them a few feet 



Father Dan and Fiddlers Four 225 

before her, and across her passage. Then 
she quickly took in half the situation: re- 
venge was sweet, and Kitty laid down her 
broad and heavy boot, with very much em- 
phasis, plump on the back of the nearest 
hand to her. There was a stifled cry, luckily 
covered by the noise with which Father Dan 
hitched his chair and coughed. Kitty's 
ankle was immediately caught firmly by a 
right hand, and viciously wrenched. She 
swayed, staggered forward, and, first her load 
of turf, then herself, was pitched into his 
Lordship's lap, out of which Kitty narrowly 
escaped rolling into the fire. In the com- 
motion, three hands started out simulta- 
neously from beneath the table, swooped 
under his Lordship's chair, the bottle rapidly 
passed back in one, the other two hands fol- 
lowed, limp, and one might easily think half 
disappointed. The spirit-rappings under- 
neath the table set in again at once; sharp 
and quick they were. But there was yet too 
much commotion for them to be heard 
amongst the party at the fire. Father Dan 
sharply reprimanded Kitty for her clumsi- 
ness in tripping, and begged a thousand par- 
15 



226 Through the Turf Smoke 



dons of Dr. McGilligan, while Kitty was too 
much overcome with horror of the situation 
to do more than clasp her hands, and turn 
up her eyes to heaven, and cluck her tongue 
against the roof of her mouth, in attempted 
expression of her inexpressible feelings. 

Good Dr. McGilligan tried to reassure and 
quiet them, and he repeated, "Tut! Tut! 
Tut! " till he got them in a moderately calm 
condition again. Then he consented that he 
would look into his room while Kitty was 
getting them a cup of tea. But as he would 
have risen from his seat, he fell back again 
slightly startled, for before his eyes, and ap- 
parently none interfering with it, one end 
of the table was suddenly tilted up some six 
inches, and slowly descended again. Father 
Dan could neither move nor speak. Kitty 
Byrne collapsed on the sofa. Then the other 
end of the table went up as mysteriously for 
a foot, it swayed to right and left for a few 
seconds, while some strange uncertain sounds 
were heard from beneath; then the table sub- 
sided once more, and for a momentary space 
there was no sound. Father Dan strove to 
reach for his blackthorn which rested against 



Father Dan and Fiddlers Four 227 



the wall within a yard of him — but on the 
way his hand was paralyzed, and fell back to 
his side. Now, the table bodily bounded, 
sharply and suddenly to the height of a foot, 
and as suddenly came down again. A dis- 
tinct scuffling noise was heard. Then — 

" Tarnation saize ye; let go me throat! " 

" Let go the bottle or I'll choke ye as dhry 
as a whinstone rock! " 

" Hish!" 

" Hish, or I'll prod the ribs aff ye! " 
" Let go the bottle, hatchet-face! let go the 
bottle!" 

" Not if it was to save yer sowl, cruked 
mouth! " 

"Ye natarnal veg ye! bad luck to ye, an' 
his Lordship listenin'!" 

" I don't care a thraneen if Sent Pether 
himself was listenin', I'll have the bottle or 
his ribs 'ill get what Paddy gave the 
dhrum! " 

" De'il's cure to you, spavin-feet, an' take 
that! " 

His Lordship sat terrified. Father Dan 
sat terrified. Kitty Byrne lay astounded. 
Beneath the table then arose a general hub- 



228 Through the Turf Smoke 



bub. One side the table then rose a couple 
of feet and sank. Then rose again — and 
the other side followed. Luckily, Father 
Dan kept his candle on the mantel. Before 
the startled and staring prelate the table rose 
up five or six feet from the ground, swayed, 
shook — there was a crackling noise such as 
might be produced by trampling on and 
bursting-in fiddles — and then the table shot 
over and lit on its side on the fender, and 
thence tumbled over, exposing four big fel- 
lows struggling and gasping, and punching 
and grappling, and finally bellowing, trampl- 
ing all the while on the debris of four fiddles, 
to the utter and fearful consternation of 
good Dr. McGilligan, and the unspeakable 
mortification of poor Father Dan. 

After Father Dan, with the substantial 
help of his staff, had cleared out the four 
arrant villains, and left them rubbing their 
wounds far from his door, and pitched out 
after them the sorry remains of their fiddles, 
he threw himself on the Bishop's mercy, ex- 
plained and apologized, apologized and ex- 
plained: but the Bishop, when he had gath- 



Father Dan and Fiddlers Four 229 

ered his meaning and purport as best he 
could from a disjointed statement, went into 
fit after fit of long, loud, and hearty laughter, 
which seized him at intervals even in bed 
that night. Father Dan affected to join, but 
the poor man's laugh was distressingly me- 
chanical, and in his heart he vowed to whale 
and whack every fiddler from either Killy- 
mard or Drimholm whom he'd find within 
the bounds of his parish from that sad night 
forward. And certainly such were after- 
wards very chary of trespassing on the for- 
bidden region. 

That is the story of Father Dan and the 
Fiddlers Four. 



Jack Who was the Ashypet 



Jack Who was the Ashypet 



Wanst on a time when Kings and Queens 
was as plenty in Ireland as good people, and 
good people as plenty as Kings and Queens, 
there was a poor widdy woman and she had 
wan son they called Jack. Now this Jack 
was a lazy, good-for-nothin' sthreel of an 
ashypet, who sat round the fire with his heels 
and his toes never out of the ashes all days 
of the year, and all years of his life, till he 
grew to be man-big, and he neither good for 
King, country nor clippin' sheep. 

Till wan day at long an' at last, he ups, 
and he says, says he, 

u Mother," says he, " it's the black shame's 
on me to be hunkerin' in the ashes all days 
o' me life, an' you puttin' the bone through 
the skin thryin' to do for me. It has been 
so long, but it'll not be so longer. Bake 
me a bannock, cut me a call op, an' give me 



234 Through the Turf Smoke 

yer blissin' till I go away to push me for- 
tune." 

No sooner said nor done. 

" Very well, J ack ahaisge" says the 
mother. And she baked him his bannock, 
cut him his callop, give him her blissin', an' 
off went poor Jack to push his fortune. 

And on and on afore him Jack walked, 
till, in the hait of the day, haltin' to rest 
himself, and to eat a bit of his bannock, he 
obsarves on the flag he was goin' to seat him- 
self down on, a flock of big black flies, an' 
he ups with his stick an' kilt three-an'-thirty 
of them, — for he counted them, an' wan o' 
them was a dale bigger nor the others. 

" Xow that's what I call a good blow," says 
Jack; an' gettin' an old rusty nail he wrote 
upon his stick — 

" With wan How o' this stick I kilt a 
clargyman an' two an' thirty of a congrega- 
tion:' 

Afther that, Jack he thravelled on and on, 
far further nor I could tell you, and twicet 
further nor you could tell me, till at last he 
come to a country where he found two Joy- 
ants buildin' a bridge. Here Jack climbs 



Jack Who was the Ashypet 235 



up a tree unbeknownst to the Joyants, an' 
takin' a wee pebble-stone out of his pocket 
he fires an' hits wan 0' the Joyants that was 
in front of the other, with it. 

" Don't do that again, I tell ye! " says the 
Joyant that was sthruck, says he, to his 
brother Joyant. 

Then he went on with his work, but he 
wasn't right at it, till Jack the rascal threw 
another small pebble-stone an' sthruck him 
again. 

" Be this an' be that," says the J oyant, 
says he, as black as thunder, " if ye do that 
again I'll throw ye over the bridge! " 

But me brave Joyant had scarce yocked 
his work the second time, when Jack rattles 
another purty little pebble-stone off his skull. 

" Melia murtlier! " roars the Joyant. An' 
afore givin' him time to bliss himself he had 
his brother J oyant be the throat an' over the 
bridge, an' kilt him cowl' dead on the rocks 
below. 

An' at this me poor Jack couldn't houl' 
himself in no longer, but laughed an' 
laughed till he rowled down out of the tree. 

" Oh, ye vagabone! " says the Joyant, " so 



236 Through the Turf Smoke 



it was you that done it, an' made me kill me 
poor brother. — Oh ye vagabone ye! " says 
he, "it's me'll make the short work 0' ye! " 

" Stan' off, stan' off," says Jack, says he, 
wavin' his hand, " ye don't know who ye're 
talkin' to. Are you aware," says Jack, says 
he, " the wondherful fait that I parformed?" 

" I'm not," says the J oyant, says he, 
" what was that?" 

" I kilt," says Jack, says he, " with wan 
blow 0' that stick, a clargyman an' his con- 
gregation of two-an'-thirty." 

" I don't believe a word of it," says the 
J oyant. 

" There, then," says Jack, handin' him 
the stick — " There, then," says he, " read it 
for yerself." 

" Thrue enough," says the Joyant, his jaw 
dhroppin' all at wanst when he read what 
was on the stick. " But sure ye'll not touch 
me, J ack," says he, " an' I'll not say a word 
to ye if I had fifty-five brothers, an' ye made 
me kill every sowl 0' them." 

" Never fear," says Jack, " I have made it 
a rule never to intherfere with the young or 
the wake." 



Jack Who was the Ashypet 237 



So, home with him the Joyant fetched 
Jack; an' when Jack had got his fill of a 
good supper an' gone to bed, an' left the 
Joyant an' his ouP mother sittin' be the 
fire — 

" Isn't this a nice how-do-you-do/' says 
the oul' mother, says she, " that ye kilt yer 
poor brother all through this scoundhril's 
thricks." 

" Oh, whisht, whisht, whisht, mother! " 
says the Joyant, says he, " for feerd Jack 
would hear ye, an' come down out o' the 
room an' kill us all. Whisht, whisht, whisht, 
mother! " says he, " ye don't know what ye're 
talkin' about ! " 

" Go to pot," says she, " for a blatherskite. 
I don't believe a word of it that he has the 
sthrength he lets on."* 

" Oh, whisht, whisht, whisht, mother! " 
says the J oyant, " sure didn't me own two 
eyes read it off the stick! " 

" Botheration take you an' the stick," says 
she, "for the ediot ye are! Is that all the 
proof ye have? I'll tell ye," says she, 
"what ye'll do, to thry him out for it: just 

* Pretends. 



238 Through the Turf Smoke 



ax him out to the meadow the morra-mornin' 
for a sthroll; I'll lave in yer way the three- 
ton sledge-head of yer brother's, an' the 
seven-ton sledge-head of yer own, an' the 
ten-ton wan of yer poor oul' father when he 
was alive: yous 'ill come across them be ac- 
cident, an' you purpose to thry him a throw 
at them for fun. Then we'll soon see his 
sthren'th, an' be the garries, if he turns out 
the imposthure I believe him to be, we'll 
soon do for him then." 

"Well an' good; the mornin' come, an' me 
boul' Jack was up with the lark. 

" What do ye say, Jack," says the Joyant, 
says he, " to a turn in the meadow without, 
to get up yer appetite? " 

" I say it's no bad iday-a," says Jack. 

So out the both 0' them marches, Jack 
cheek-be- jowl with the Joyant, an' through 
the meadow they goes, an' it wasn't long till 
they come across a sledge-head. 

"I say," says Jack, "what's this?" 

" Oh," says the Joyant, says he, turnin' it 
over with his toe, " that's only a little sledge- 
head belongin' to me poor brother: it's lyin' 
here where himself an' me used to come out 



Jack Who was the Ashypet 239 

of a mornin' an' throw it for exercise. — What 
do ye say, Jack, to a throw of it?" 

" Oh, of course, of course, — sartintly we'll 
have a throw at it be all means/' says Jack. 

" Will you throw first, J ack ? " says the 
J 0)^ant. 

" Oh, not at all," says Jack, " that sort of 
thing would be considhered very bad man- 
ners 0' me in my counthry." 

So up with the sledge did the Joyant, an' 
at wan throw he threw it eleven mile. 

"Now, Jack," says he, "it's your turn." 

" Oh, just when ye threw it away," says 
J ack, " be good enough to lay it back again." 

So, off went the J oyant an' fetched it back, 
an' left it down at Jack's feet. 

"Himph!" says Jack, says he, lookin' at 
it. "What weight do ye call that?" 

" Three ton," says the J oyant. 

"Have ye any others?" says Jack. 

" Yes," says the Joyant, says he, " there's 
a seven-ton wan belongin' to me, an' a ten- 
ton wan belongin' to me poor oul' father, 
lyin' about." 

" Get them," says J ack. 

The Joyant, all wondherment, got them. 



240 Through the Turf Smoke 

" Get a rope an' tie the three together 
now," says Jack. 

The Joyant done this, too; his eyes growin' 
bigger every minnit. 

" Plaise to stand back out 0' me road, now, 
me good fella/' says Jack, sthrippin' himself 
of his coat, an' rowlin' up his sleeves, " an' 
gimme room to wind me arms, or ye might 
get hurted." 

Back the Joyant stands, wondherin' more 
an' more, an' ready to dhrop with the won- 
dher. An' Jack, puttin' his two fingers in 
his mouth gives a loud whistle. 

"What do ye mane be that?" says the 
J oyant. 

" Oh, nothin," says Jack, " only it's a 
blacksmith lives at home, an' naybours me 
in Dinnygal, an' when I was comin' away he 
put it on me if I'd meet any likely bits 0' 
scrap-iron on me way, to be sure an' mind 
not to forget but pick them up an' take them 
home to him. But do you think," says Jack, 
says he, offended, "that I've got nothin' 
whatsomiver to do only be cadgin' bits o' 
scraps like these round with me? I'll pitch 
them home to him now an' be done with 



Jack Who was the Ashypet 241 



them. — That whistle's to put him on the 
lookout." 

" Aisy, aisy," says the J oyant, <e ye're not 
surely goin' to throw our beautiful sledge- 
heads home to a blacksmith for scrap-iron. 
Melia murther, no! " 

u Stand back/' says Jack. " Stand back/' 
says he, making great sthrives entirely to get 
hy the Joyant, an' get at the sledge-heads. 

" No, no, no! " says the Joyant. " Mother, 
mother, mother! he's goin' to throw our 
purty sledge-heads home to a blacksmith for 
scrap-iron. No, Jack, Jack," says he, " sure 
ye wouldn't be as bad as that on us? " 

" Arrah, bad win' to you an' yer little 
sledge-heads," says Jack, rowlin' down his 
sleeves again, an' gettin' intil his coat. " The 
norra be with you an' them! for to go an' 
for to raise such a phillalew about nothin! 
Take them out 0' me sight," says he, turnin' 
an' marchin' home to his brekwuss. 

An' that night again, when Jack had gone 
to bed, the Joyant an' his mother was be- 
moanin' to wan another over the fire. 

" But now," says the J oyant's mother, 
"afther all, he didn't throw the sledges home. 
16 



242 Through the Turf Smoke 



There's no bein' up to the thricks 0' them 
people comes from Dinnygal, an' I can't get 
it off me mind yet but he's maybe only an 
imposther. Now, we must thry him out for 
it; so, the morra-mornin' you put the hand- 
sticks in the water-barrel without, that 
houlds ten ton weight 0' water, an' ax him 
help ye to carry the full of it back from the 
lough, an' then we'll soon see what stuff he's 
made of." 

Eight enough, in the mornin' the Joyant 
'puts the hand-sticks into the emp'y wather- 
barrel, that weighed three ton weight itself, 
an' he says to Jack, 

" Jack," says he, " me mother would like 
to get a dhrop 0' wather fetched over from 
the lough beyant. This little stand only 
holds ten tons, an' my brother an' I used to 
carry her the full of it every mornin', but 
I know you'll be kindly enough to help me 
now." 

" Is it help ye! " says Jack. " Oh, surely, 
surely, sartintly I'll help ye." 

"All right," says the Joyant, "I'll take 
houl' 0' this end of the sticks, you of that 
end. Are ye ready? " 



Jack Who was the Ashypet 243 



" Keady," says Jack. " Lift away, me 
jewel! " 

But the minnit the J oyant lifted, J ack lets 
go his end, an' he brakin' his heart laughin'. 

"Ha! ha! ha-ha-ha-a-a! " says Jack, says 
he. " Do ye know what Fm laughin' at? " 
says he; an' he yocks to tell the Joyant a 
dhroll put-out, "Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha-a-a! " 
says J ack, says he, " did ye ever hear a betther 
wan nor that in yer born days? Ha! ha! ha! 
ha-a-a! what's this to do at all, at all! 99 says 
he, houldin' his sides with the laughin'. 
" Ha! ha! ha! ha-a-a! that's no miss of a 
joke," says Jack, " or did ye ever meet with 
the bate of it! Ha! ha! ha! Anee, anee, 
oh! " says Jack, says he, an' he lay down on 
the grass an' he rowled with the laughin'. 
"Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! Anee-oh! anee-oh! 
anee-oh! " says he, "I'll never get over 
this!" 

Till at long an' at last, the Joyant had to 
get his arms about the water-barrel an' hoise 
it off to the lough himself. Then, when he 
had it filled, he got the sticks intil it again, 
an' told Jack to take hold of his end, till 
they'd get it home. 



244 Through the Turf Smoke 



" Yis, me fine fella/' says J ack, says he, 
gettin' hold o' the sticks. 

"Are ye ready?" says the Joyant. 

"Ready!" says Jack; "lift away, me 
jewel! » 

But the minnit the Joyant went to lift, 
Jack let go his end o' the sticks, nearly 
br'akin' the Joyant's back. 

" Och, blatheration! " says Jack, as angry 
as ye plaise, " what's the sense o' this way o' 
workin', carryin' home water in wee dhribs 
like this! Tell me," says he to the Joyant, 
"have ye got any spades about the house? 
an' what size are they ? " 

"We have," says the Joyant, wondherin' 
what Jack was up to now; "there's a spade, 
belongin' to me poor brother that's dead, that 
lifts three acres at a time, an' wan belongin' 
to me that lifts seven acres at a time, an' wan 
belongin' to me poor father that lifts ten 
acres." 

" Take an' get them three little spades," 
says Jack, says he, " knocked into wan mid- 
dlin' spade, an' fetch it to me, an' I'll soon 
cut a way for the lough to get down round 
yer house, so that yer oul' mother 'ill only 



Jack Who was the Ashypet 245 



have to come to the door-step and lift what- 
ever water she wants.'' 

"Oh, vo! vo! vo! " says the Joyant. 
"Melia murther! melia murther!" says he, 
runnin' home to his mother an' tellin' her all 
how this Jack fella wanted to fetch the whole 
lough down round the house, so that she 
might fall in an' get dhrownded some 
mornin'. 

So even the Joyant's ouP mother had to 
give in that Jack must be a tarrible fella, 
entirely, out an' out, an' they must get rid 
of him somehow or other. 

An' that self-same night when Jack went 
to hed, he didn't go to bed at all, only stayed 
listenin' at the room door, an' heerd the 
Joyant an' his mother discoorsin' how they'd 
kill him. An' they agreed to take the ten- 
ton sledge-head an' go up an' kill him with 
it when he'd be asleep. So, me brave Jack 
takes a calf they had tied in the room, an' 
puttin' him lyin' in the bed, he put in a lot 
of dry sticks along with him, an' covered 
over the whole with the blankets, an' got 
undher a lump of rubbish in the corner him- 
self. 



246 Through the Turf Smoke 



After a while up comes the J oyant, an' he 
whispers " Jack! " 

But the sorra answer Jack made, only 
snored from his corner. 

" Come on, mother! " says the Joyant, 
goin' back to the door, " he's as sound as a 
top." 

Up comes the mother with the ten-ton 
sledge-head in her arms, an' the Joyant gets 
behind her an' shoves her on tor'st the bed 
where they seen the bulk lyin'. 

" Now, mother," says the Joyant, from 
behind her. " Now, mother," says he, 
" strike! an' strike hard! " 

An', with that, the oul' mother ups with 
the sledge-head, an' fetches it down wan 
sillendlier on the bulk. An' the dhry sticks 
cracked, an' the poor calf could only blurt 
out " Boo-00-00! " 

"Ha-a-a! ye scoundhril." says the Joy- 
ant, lookin' over his mother's shoulder, 
"ye got that. Did ye hear his bones 
crackin', mother? Give him another to 
aise him." 

So the oul' mother ups with the sledge- 
hammer, an' down she comes another sil- 



Jack Who was the Ashypet 247 



lendher on the bed. An' the sticks cracked 
again, an' the poor calf said " Boo-00-00! " 

" Ha-a-a! " says the Joyant, " that's you, 
mother, give the villain wan other to aise 
him." 

An' the ouP mother ups with the sledge- 
head again an' down she comes another 
sillendher on the bed. 

But the poor calf said nothin' now, for 
he was kilt dead. 

" Ah, bully are ye, mother! " says the 
Joyant, " now he's aised." 

An' down both o' them goes to the kitchen, 
an' sittin' down at the fire, went out of wan 
fit 0' laughin' intil another at how aisy they 
had got rid of poor Jack. 

But lo! an' behoul' ye, in the middle of it 
all, the room-door opens, an' in steps me 
brave Jack into the kitchen with his shoes 
an' stockin's under his arm; and he dhraws 
forrid a sait to the fire, and sat down atwixt 
the Joyant an' his mother. 

" Boys-a-boys! " says Jack, says he, an' 
him thrimblin', " I couldn't lie in that bed 
no longer," says he, "for a tarrible wild 
dhraim Fm afther havin'." 



248 Through the Turf Smoke 



" A dhraim! " says the Joyant. 

" A dhraim! " says the Joyant's mother. 

" Yis, a dhraim, an' a tarrible wan en- 
tirely/' says J ack. " I dhraimt," says he, 
that I was out in a shower 0' hailstones, an' 
that three great, big, big wans struck me 
right there on the stomach, an' a'most took 
the breath from me. Oh, oh, oh! " says he, 
rubbin' his stomach hard, " I think I feel it 
smartin' still. Oh, oh, oh! " says he. 

An' the Joyant looked at the ouP mother, 
an' the ouP mother looked at the Joyant; 
but naither 0' them spoke — only shuk their 
heads at other, as much as to say, " There's 
for ye! three big hailstones! " 

" Jack," then says the J oyant's mother, 
" don't ye think aren't ye a long time away 
from yer home an' from yer mother now? 
And don't ye think wouldn't it be a good 
notion if ye made a push back for yer own 
counthry again? mornin' ? " 

" It would be ill me comin' to do anything 
o' the sort," says Jack, " for to go for to disart 
ye afther all the wee kindnesses ye've shown 
me while I was here. No, no, no," says J ack, 
" you've been both mother an' father to me, 



Jack Who was the Ashypet 249 

an' this house is goin' to be my home, plaise 
Providence, for the time to come. Oh, no, 
no, no, don't think I'd be so small as for to 
go for to disart ye that way," says Jack. 

So, the lee an' the long of it was that they 
had to offer Jack, if he'd return home, he'd 
have all the goold he could carry with him. 
An' at long an' at last Jack consented — only, 
he said, he wouldn't ax all the goold lie could 
carry, for that would rob them entirely, out 
an' out; he'd only ax what goold the Joyant 
could carry. So, off at length the Joyant 
an' Jack started, an' the Joyant two-double 
undher a great sack of goold, an' he left Jack 
three days' journey on his way, puttin' him 
over the bordhers intil his own counthry. 
An' Jack soon found manes of fetchin' the 
goold the remaindher of the way home, 
where right hearty glad his poor oul' mother 
was to see her own Ashypet come back. But 
when she saw the sight o' the goold was 
along with him, it's sartin sure ye may be 
that she was beside herself with the delight. 
There was an open house, an' faistin', 
aitin', an' dhrinkin' for nine days an' nine 
nights — every day an' night betther nor the 



250 Through the Turf Smoke 



other an' the last day an' night the best of 
all. 

And Jack he built a great castle with a 
window again' every day o' the year. An' 
himself an' his poor ouP mother lived happy 
iver afther. 



Jack and the Lord High 
Mayor of Dublin 



Jack and the Lord High 
Mayor of Dublin 



In the rare ould times, long, long, ago, 
whin there was paice an' plinty in Irelan', 
an' whin yon'd meet with more humours an' 
cracks in one day's journey than now in a 
year an' a day, there was an aged widdy 
woman, an' she had one son, an' they called 
him Jack. An' Jack an' his ould mother 
owned a wee hut of a house not a bit bigger 
nor that ye might put yer han' down the 
chimley an' take the boult off o' the door, 
an' they had a stretch o' land behind the 
house that supported one Nanny-goat in aise 
an' comfort. An' moreover nor the Nanny- 
goat, Jack owned two pet rabbits, for he had 
that kindly sort of a way with him, that he 
had a grah for little wee birds an' bastes, an' 
the little wee birds and bastes, too, was jist 
every bit as fond o' him. For, by the same 



254 Through the Turf Smoke 

token, Jack had a wee whistle on a runnin'- 
string fastened into his weskit-pocket an' 
buttonhole, same as you or me 'ud carry a 
watch an' chain, an' whin Jack would put 
the whistle into his mouth an' blow it, there 
wasn't a bird of any sort or description 
within a mile o' ground that wouldn't come 
whish! flyin' in a sthring after the other like 
a railway thrain, an' light all over him an' 
about him, waitin' to be fed, for he had them 
all as tame as chickens, feedin' them day an' 
daily from he was no height; an' they'd perch 
on his hands an' arms an' head, an' all roun' 
him, without bein' in the laste taste afeerd. 

The cabin that Jack an' his ould mother 
lived in was built on the main road to Dub- 
lin, where, of course, there was no end of 
genthry an' nobility rowlin' by in their car- 
riages day afther day as sure as ever the sun 
rose. An' it happened that wan day the 
Lord High Mayor of Dublin an' his shoot 
was passin' by Jack's an' his ould mother's 
wee hut, on his way back to Dublin from a 
visit he was afther payin' to a second an' 
third cousin of his (by his mother's side) in 
the Black North; an' just as he was passin' 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 255 

Jack's an' his ould mother's hut what would 
ye have of it, but wasn't me brave Jack just 
at that very minnit puttin' the whistle in 
his mouth to call the little wee birds to their 
mait, an' when the Lord High Mayor he 
hears the whistle he ordhers the coachman 
to pull up, bethinkin' that it was on himself 
Jack was whistlin'; but there, lo and behould 
ye! afore ye could say " thrapsticks," there 
the very sky itself was a'most darkened with 
the dhroves of birds that come helther-skel- 
ther from all the hedges an' ditches, woods 
an' scrugs aroun', an' gathers roun' Jack, an' 
lights atop 0' him, an' atop 0' everything 
round about, some 0' them even havin' the 
very impidence to light on the Lord High 
Mayor's own carriage. Faix, the Lord High 
Mayor he opened his eyes at this, an' — 

" The top o' the mornin' to ye, J ack, me 
man," sez the Lord High Mayor, sez he to 
him, be raison there wasn't maybe a man, 
woman, or child in Dublin didn't know Jack 
like his own left han', bekase of his livin' 
on the main road side, that way, where they 
were always passin' back an' forrid. 

" The tip-top o' the blissid mornin' to yer- 



256 Through the Turf Smoke 

self, me Lord High Mayorship," sez he, " it's 
gran' yer honour's lookin' this mornin', an' 
might I make bould to ax afther the health 
o' the Missis Lord High Mayor? I hope 
she's purty fine," sez Jack. 

" The Missis Lord High Mayor, Jack," 
sez he, " is as healthy as a throut, thank 
you. Her lungs is as sthrong as ever, an' 
so is her fist, an' atween yer self an' me an' 
the wall, Jack," sez he, " ye may thank the 
Lord you're not the Misther Lord High 
Mayor," sez he, " or you'd know that to yer 
cost. But about that whistle 0' yours, Jack, 
it's a wonderful one entirely, an' I'd like to 
bargain with ye for it. How does it come 
that it has that wondherful power over the 
birds?" 

" Och," sez Jack, sez he, seem' his oppor- 
tunity 0' turnin' a few pounds at the Lord 
High Mayor's cost. " Och," sez he, " there's 
a vartue in that whistle, that when I sound 
it there's no feathered bird of any kind 
within two-an'-twinty mile o' where it is 
sounded but must come at the call. It was 
a blin' beggarman," sez he, for Jack was 
good at makin' histhories — "it was a blin' 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 257 

beggarman," sez he, " that died in me 
great-great-gran'father's house, an' left that 
whistle to me great-great-gran'father as a 
last bequist for lettin' him die undher their 
roof, an' it has been handed down from 
father to son since," sez he. " Och it's a 
wondherful great cur'osity entirely," sez 
J ack, " an' me father, whin he was dyin', 
warned me nivir to part it." 

" Oh, but," says the Lord High Mayor, 
" ye're a poor man, J ack, an' money," sez he, 
" would do ye betther good any day nor the 
whistle. I'll give ye," sez he, "ten pounds 
for it." 

" I'm very thankful to yer Lord High 
Mayorship," sez Jack, sez he, "but I 
wouldn't part it on no tarms." 

" Come, J ack, be manly," sez the Lord 
High Mayor, "an' I don't care if I give ye 
a score 0' pounds for it," sez he. 

"No use, me lord," sez Jack, "I don't 
want to part it, an' less nor fifty pounds 
wouldn't purchase it." 

"Done then," sez the Lord High Mayor, 
"I'll give ye fifty pounds for it," sez he, 
openin' his weskit and pullin' the purse out 



258 Through the Turf Smoke 



of the inside pocket, an' countin' down on 
the carraige sait two score an' ten shinin' 
goold sovereigns. 

" There ye are now, J ack," sez he, raichin' 
J ack the money, " an' that's the dearest 
whistle," sez he, " ever I paid for." 

" Ye're not half as loth to give it, let me 
tell you/' sez J ack, " as I am to part me 
whistle, that has "been a hair-loom in the 
family for up'ards of two hundred years." 

So the Lord High Mayor took the whistle 
an' dhrove off to Dublin, chucklin' to him- 
self at the dead chape bargain he got, an' 
how he fooled Jack, an' he scarce let bite 
or sup cross his lips when he got into Dublin 
till he run round all the naybours' houses 
showin' the whistle, an' tellin' the exthraor- 
nary great vartue of it entirely. An' the 
Lord High Mayor's wondherful whistle was 
soon the whole talk 0' Dublin from one end 
0' the street to the other. An' then the 
Lord High Mayor give out a great day for 
showin' the merits 0' the whistle, an' he 
hired one 0' the biggest lofts in Dublin for 
the occasion, an' charged so much a head 
for gettin' in, from tuppence up, accordin' 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 259 



to their size an' daicency, an' every one come 
was to fetch their cage-birds with them — be 
raison there's no wild birds in Dublin to 
practice on. So on that day — an' a grate 
day entirely it was — yon wouldn't think 
there was one, gentle or simple, in Dublin 
that didn't turn up there, every one with 
his cage over his shoulder or under his arm, 
an' when they were all in, an' the loft was 
a'most crammed full, 

" Now," sez the Lord High Mayor, sez he, 
displayin' his whistle, " I'm goin' to show 
yez the exthra-or-nary powers of this won- 
dherful little article. Yez will kindly open 
the windows, an' then openin' the doors of 
your cages," sez he, " let yer birds go free. 
Afther they have got time to be away a re- 
spectable distance from the house, then I'll 
blow this whistle, and yez 'ill behould the 
astonishin' sight of every mother's sowl o' 
them birds comin' back all together like 
Brown's cows, an' crowdin' in 0' the windows 
again to yez, when they'll be every one o' 
them as tame as tomcats, an' yez will then 
kindly catch them an' put them back into yer 
cages again, the people with ondiflerent vari- 



260 Through the Turf Smoke 

eties of birds takin' care not to get their 
naybour's bird into their cages by mistake 
for their own. Then yez can thank me an' 
go home/' sez he, windin' up the norration 
with a great bow. 

Up then went the windies, an* open flew 
the doors of the cages, an' out wint thrishes, 
blackbirds, paycocks, parrots, larks, jinny- 
wrans, an' canary-birds, besides siveral birds 
of great value an' scarcity, with no names on 
thim, that had come from furrin parts, an' 
was rackoned worth their weight in goold. 
Out they all flew, an' once away an' eye away, 
they weren't long showin' a clean pair o' 
heels over the roofs o' the houses, an' it 
was long an' many a year since such a gath- 
erin' o' birds darkened Dublin town afore. To 
pass the time, then, an' give the birds time 
to get off far enough afore he'd call them 
back, the Lord High Mayor commenced 
crackin' jokes an' reharsin' dhroll passages 
that he fell in with when he was away on 
his visit in the North, puttin' the company 
into stitches laughin' — for he was a dhroll 
lad in his way, was the same Lord High 
Mayor, an' was no miss at reharsin' a story. 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 261 

But well and good, the birds was long 
enough away at last to show the wounderful 
powers that he b'leeved to be in the little 
whistle, so puttin' the whistle up to his lips, 

" Now, boys/' sez he, " will yez kindly 
stand back a bit farther from the windies, 
an' give the little animals room to get in. 
There's a big body o' them, an' they must 
get a little more room nor that, or they won't 
be able to show in at all, at all," sez he, 
" stand back, boys, stand back. Police- 
man," sez he to a policeman was there, " do 
you see an' keep ordher there, and help to 
keep the crowd back a thrifle from the win- 
dies. That's right — that's you." 

An' then he ins with the whistle into his 
mouth and blew a good stout, strong blow o' 
the whistle. " Now, boys," sez he, " now, 
boys, prepare an' lookout, they'll be here in 
a jiffey." 

Then the crowd was all on their tip-toes, 
an' houldin' in their breaths, an' shovin' out 
their eyes to catch the first gleek 0' the birds 
comin' back. They were this way for full 
two minnits, an' still no sign 0' the birds. 
The Lord High Mayor himself began to look 



262 Through the Turf Smoke 



a thrifle unaisy, ye would think, an' he looked 
out iv the windy. 

" I b'leeve, boys/' sez he, " they'll be here 
immaidiately. It's their time now; watch 
hard and yez'll see them comin'." 

So the boys watched harder than afore; an* 
they'd see things in the distance, an' say, 
"There they are!" " No." "What's yon 
now ? " " It's a dhirty shirt the wind's tos- 
sin' over the house." " Here they come." 
" Ay, this is them." " It's a lie." " It is." 
"It is not." "You're a liar." "You're 
another." " Do ye want ye're jaw splint- 
hered?" "There they are at last." "It's 
not them." " It is them." " I'll knock yer 
two eyes into wan." " What's yon black 
thing now?" "It's a lawyer's sowl that 
died at the town end, last night." " Hur- 
rooh! here they are now! " " Nobbut, is it 
them?" "No, the divil a feather 0' them 
yet." " They're not goin' to come at all, 
lads." "They are." " They're not." "Shut 
yer mouth, or ye won't see them if they do 
come." "They'll not come." "Our birds 
is lost, boys." " We'll nivir see the sight 0' 
them more." " Give it up, boys, the Lord 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 263 

Mayor has made Tom-fools 0' yez." 
"Throth an' he'll pay for it if he has." 
" Euffian! " " Villain! " " Scoundhril! 99 

"Aisy, aisy, lads/' sez the Lord High 
Mayor, sez he, the colour 0' the white wall 
wit fright — " Aisy, aisy, boys, an' I'll fetch 
yez back yer birds, don't fear. Just let me 
give one other whistle out 0' the wind}', an' 
yez'll not be able to cage them as fast as 
they fly in," sez he. " They mustn't have 
heard that last whistle I gave. But, I'll en- 
gage ye, they'll hear this one." An' puttin' 
his head right out o' the windy, to give the 
birds no excuse, he blew with a vingince. 

" Now, me lads," sez he, dhrawin' himself 
in, " look out for yer birds." 

But, mavrone, he might as well have told 
them to look out for the sky to fall, for the 
sorra a sign o' the birds appeared. An' then 
the Lord High Mayor whistled out 0' every 
other windy 0' the house, laist there should 
be spells on some 0' them, an' then went out 
an' whistled at the four corners 0' the house, 
but it was all o' no use, whatsomever. The 
dickens a bird or bird would come next or 
near him. The whole crowd b'leeved now 



264 Through the Turf Smoke 



that the Lord High Mayor had been thryin' 
to get up a good laugh at their expense, an' 
they got outragus entirely, an' small 
wondher. 

There was naither houldin' nor tyin' 0' 
them till they'd get at the Lord High Mayor, 
an' not lave two pieces 0' him together, an' 
make him laugh at the wrong side 0' his 
mouth. An' there was got up the greatest 
royot, that the likes 0' it was niver seen in 
Dublin afore or sence, an' only for the Lord 
High Mayor's sojers an' polis sur-roundin' 
him, an' convayin' him home, batin' off the 
mob with their bare naked swords, there'd 
hev' been a story to tell that day. An' then 
the Lord High Mayor had to pay every man- 
jack that their bird went away, for his bird, 
an' a nice penny he was out 0' his pocket 
when all was settled. 

" Well, be this an' be that, an' be the 
crutch 0' the cruked waiver," sez he, when 
all was fixed up an' blown over, " if I don't 
make that scoundhril Jack pay for this busi- 
ness I'm not the man I took meself for," sez 
he; an' ordherin' out a rajiment of his sojers, 
off he starts with them to go an' take me 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 265 

brave Jack pres'ner. But, by the boots, as 
they come along the main road torst Jack's 
house, doesn't Jack eye them, an' well he 
knew what was up with them. So Jack had 
a little pet rabbit runnin' about the house, 
an' he sez to his ould mother: " Mother," sez 
he, " I notice the Lord High Mayor 0' Dub- 
lin an' his sojers comin' along the road there, 
an' when they come this far, the Lord High 
Mayor 'ill come in an' ax for me. Then 
you're to say that I'm not at home — that 
I'm gone to Scotlan', but that if his business 
is any way purtikler ye'll soon have me here. 
Then ye'll catch the little rabbit," sez he, 
"by the ear, an' tell it to fetch Jack home 
from Scotlan'; give it a wee tig of a rod then 
that'll make it run out 0' the door, an' that's 
all ye've got to do." Jack's ould mother 
promised she'd do this, an' Jack went out 
an' disappeared behind the house. Faix it 
wasn't long his shadow was aff the threshel, 
when who steps in as sthraight as a ribbon, 
an' lookin' as proud as a prence, but me Lord 
High Mayor, an' he sez, sez he, steppin' up 
the floor like a drum-major, he sez, sez he: 
" I'm very desirable, madam," he sez, usin' 



266 Through the Turf Smoke 



grate English — " I'm very desirable/' he sez, 
" madam, to hould a few minutes' councilta- 
tion with your son Jack. Is he inside, or 
within? " sez he. 

"My son Jack/' sez Jack's ould mother, 
sez she, " took a run over to Scotlan' two 
days ago, an' isn't to be back for a week," 
sez she; " but if it's very great business, sure 
I can have him here in a couple of minutes." 

" Well, I should say," sez he, " that it is 
very grate business entirely — no less than a 
matter of life an' death. But it puts me 
undher a puzzle all the same," sez he, " to 
know, if yer son Jack wint to Scotland, how 
ye could have him here in a couple of 
minutes." 

" Faix, then," sez she, " I'll soon take ye 
out o' yer puzzle-atation. Jack has got a 
little pet rabbit here that's very convanient 
that way; an' no matther what quarther of 
the known world the man's in that ye want, 
even as far as Chanay or Connaught, the 
little rabbit will have him here in a jiffey," 
sez she. 

An' with that, Jack's ould mother catches 
the rabbit by the ear an' give it to undher- 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 267 

stand that she wanted it to fetch Jack out 
of Scotland immediately without no delay, 
for there was a jintleman here wantin' to see 
him on very purtickler business. Then, she 
gave the rabbit a tig of the rod, which, of 
course, made the rabbit bounce an' away out 
0' the house. Jack wasn't, maybe, more nor 
three sparrow-hops away from the back of 
the house, lying hid behind a knowe, with 
his belly to the sun; an' the poor rabbit, as 
it always did in its disthresses, made for J ack, 
an' Jack started up an' walks into the house, 
with the rabbit cantherin' at his heels. Well, 
my sawnies, the Lord High Mayor was more 
nor a bit surprised at this mericle, but he 
held his tongue, for he said to himself that 
little animal, if he only could come by him 
cheap enough, would be an akisition that 
he'd give a dale to have. 

" Arrah, good mornin', me Lord High 
Mayor," sez Jack. " It's proud I am to see 
ye. How is the Missis Lord High Mayor, an' 
the young Lord High Mayors? Ye'll have 
to excuse me bein' a bit out of breath, for 
that rabbit took me away in a hurry, just as 
I was in the middle of a hearty good break- 



268 Through the Turf Smoke 



wist in Scotlan\ What might yer Lord High 
Mayorship be wantin' o' me?" 

So the Lord High Mayor, keepin' one eye 
on Jack and two on the rabbit, starts an' 
tells him the mess Jack landed him into re- 
gardin' the whistle, an' axed him what he'd 
got to say for himself, for he had the sojers 
just outside ready to carry him off to be 
hung. 

" Me Lord High Mayor," sez Jack, sez he, 
" are ye quite positive sartain that ye said 
' Whistle, whistle, do yer work, for I com- 
mand ye/ three times afore ye blew — as I 
tould ye, when I sold ye it? " 

" Go long, ye blaguard," sez he. " Ye 
nivir tould me nothin' of the sort, an', of 
course, I didn't do it." 

" I nivir tould ye nothin' o' the sort! " sez 
Jack, all taken by surprise, if it was true for 
him — " I nivir tould ye nothin' o' the sort! 
Well, plague on me, but it's just like the 
misfortunate numbskull that I am, to nivir 
tell ye that. Och, then, when ye didn't use 
them words it was no more use nor a common 
penny whistle. Plague take me, but I'm the 
stupid omadhaun out an' out entirely! Any- 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 269 



thing in me power I can do to recompinsate 
ye, me Lord High Mayor/' sez Jack, sez he, 
" ye have only to mintion it an' it's done." 

" Well, Jack," sez the Lord High Mayor, 
" it would be next to onpossible to recompin- 
sate me for all the vexation, not to mintion 
the expince, at all, at all, that whistle cost 
me. Stillan'ever, I'm not disposed to be too 
harsh on ye, seein' ye have an' ould mother 
to support, so I'll only ax ye make me a 
present of that little rabbit ye have runnin' 
about there. He might come in useful to 
me." 

" Oh, is it that little rabbit," sez J ack. 
" Oh, me Lord High Mayor, don't ax that. 
Ax anything else but that — I couldn't part 
that little rabbit at all, at all, he's so on- 
common useful to me. Oh, ye'll have to ax 
some other requist — any at all undher the 
sun but that," sez Jack, for he seen be his 
eye that the Lord High Mayor had set his 
heart in the rabbit. " Oh, anything at all, 
only that, yer Lord High Mayorship," sez 
Jack. 

" Well," sez he, " if ye don't like to part 
it for nothin' — though a rajiment of rabbits 



270 Through the Turf Smoke 



wouldn't railly be enough to recompinsate 
me for what ye've cost me, yerself an' yer 
infarnal whistle — why then put a price on 
it," sez he. 

" Well," sez Jack, sez he, " I wouldn't part 
with that little animal for all the goold in 
the King's cellars, but seein' it's yerself is in 
it, an' seein' that ye did lose by my little 
mistake in forgettin' to give ye proper dirac- 
tion — seein', I say, ye did come to a loss 
through me, I never had it in me to see any 
man wronged on my account, or through any 
fault of mine; so, I don't care though I do 
lose by the transaction — just count down a 
hundred guineas there, an' the baste's yours." 

" A hundred guineas! a hundred fiddle- 
sticks! " sez the Lord High Mayor. "Is it 
a common barefaced robber ye want to make 
yerself? " sez he. 

" Oh, all right, all right, me Lord High 
Mayor, there's no harm done yet — every man 
has his own, an' then no man's onsatisfied. 
I was goin' to give ye the rabbit for a hun- 
dred guineas bekase it was yerself was in it, 
but I'm glad ye won't take him — I'm very 
glad indeed ye won't take him," sez Jack, 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 271 



" for if I had recklessly parted with that rab- 
bit for the money, I'd nivir regretted it but 
wanst, an' that would 'a' been all the days 
o' my life/' sez he. " I'm very glad yer Lord 
High Mayorship didn't jump at the offer." 

So, the long an' the short of it was, Jack 
made him believe so well that he was lettin' 
the rabbit go at a sackerfice, an' that he 
would sooner not let him go, that the Lord 
High Mayor at last had to count down his 
hundred goold guineas on the dale table to 
Jack; an' then takin' up the rabbit, he wint 
away back to Dublin again, himself an' his 
sojers. 

Well, mavrone, it wasn't long till the Lord 
High Mayor had put it about all over Dublin, 
about the rare grate rabbit he had got en- 
tirely, an' the mortial wonderful things it 
was fit for, an' all Dublin was talkin' of it; 
an' he said to himself when they'd witness 
the great doin's of his rabbit, he would be 
well recompinsated for all the bad handlin' 
an' hard usage he got over the whistle. So 
he was detarmined to lose no time lettin' 
them see what he could do with his rabbit; 
an' as he had a brother called Jimmy that 



272 Through the Turf Smoke 

lived in Galway, an' whose birthday would 
come roun' in a week, he said he'd give a 
grate supper in the market-house, the biggest 
house in Dublin, on that night, an' Jimmy 
was to get no word of it at all, but when 
they'd all be ready to sit down to the supper, 
he'd pack off the rabbit for Jimmy an' have 
him there at wanst, an' that would be the 
surprise! So me brave Lord High Mayor 
went an' ordhered a supper of, oh, the very 
best of everything that Dublin could afford, 
disregardless of all expense, for that night, 
an' then he went roun' an' axed in all the 
quality, an' high-up people of Dublin to 
come in to the supper in honour of his 
brother Jimn^'s birthday — nivir remarkin' 
at all about the way he was to fetch Jimmy 
there that night. An' sure enough, whin 
the night come, the market-house was gorjus 
with lights an' illuminations; an' at laist a 
dozen long tables was spread out, an' all the 
invited quality come in coaches an' carriages 
an' 'bushes, with at laist four black horses 
in ivery coach, an' great snobs of coachmen 
dhrivin' them with castor-hats; an' whin the 
parties were all gathered, they were all 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 273 

lookin' about an' gapin' about, lookin' out 
to see if they'd see Jimmy, or where was he 
at all, at all. But sarra take the one o' them 
could see him, an' they were puzzled out an' 
out; so they called the Lord High Mayor, an' 
put it to him — where was Mr. Jimmy, or 
what had happened to him at all that he 
wasn't here before this? 

" Oh, that's all right," sez he, smilin' a 
knowin' kind of a smile, an' wavin' his hand. 
* That's all right," sez he. " Whin the sup- 
per's ready to be sarved," sez he, " I'll soon 
let ye see Jimmy." 

They all wondhered to themselves, what 
did he mean by the cur'ous smile he had on 
him when he said this. But they weren't 
long under the notification, for, no sooner 
did the messenger come in to ax the Lord 
High Mayor that the gran' supper was ready 
now an' would it be sarved, when the Lord 
High Mayor saved he would just sarve it 
immadiately, as soon as Misther Jimmy 
would come, an' he was goin' to send for him 
now. The whole company got up their ears 
at this, an' it sthruck them about the rabbit 
they had heard so much about, an' they were 
18 



274 Through the Turf Smoke 



all on tip-toe to see the wondherful perform- 
ance. Then the Lord High Mayor, he took 
the rabbit out of a beautiful cage he had it 
in, an' in the presence of the whole as- 
sembled company, he commanded it in its 
ear to go down to his brother Jimmy in Gal- 
way, an' fetch him here immaidiately, for 
that a grate supper was waitin' him. Then 
givin' the rabbit a tig of his walkin' stick on 
the behind, he made it run away out of the 
door. 

" Now, ladies and gintlemen," sez he, 
turnin' to the company, " ye're about to see 
a very wonderful performance entirely. My 
brother Jimmy, as ye all know, is in Galway 
this night, an' doesn't know, no more than 
that walkin' stick of mine, about this great 
supper I'm getting up in his honour. But 
yez have all heard me puttin' the ordhers," 
sez he, " on that little rabbit to fetch him 
here; consequentially ye'll see Jimmy comin' 
walkin' in o' that door in an instant, with 
the little rabbit trottin' behin' him at his 
heels," sez he. 

Well, of course, the whole company, all 
the great tip-top ladies an' jintlemen of the 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 275 



town of Dublin, they were all wondherfully 
amazed at this. An' they were all standin' 
tippy-toes at once, watchin' the door to see 
the quare sight of Jimmy an' the rabbit 
eomin' in, all the way from Galway. They 
waited this way five minutes, an' the mes- 
senger come back to ax the Lord High Mayor 
if he'd sarve the supper now. 

" Just immaidiately — immaidiately, my 
man," sez he, lookin' at his watch. " Jimmy 
has time to be here now, an' the minute he 
comes you'll sarve the supper." 

Still, be me song, there was no Jimmy 
puttin' in an appearance, an' the company 
had their necks strained watchin'. Afther 
another five minutes the man come back 
again to say the supper was coolin'. No 
odds — no supper dar' be sarved, the Lord 
High Mayor said, till Jimmy comes, an' he'd 
be here just now. But, be the toss o ? war, 
it was plain to be seen he was gettin' a 
thrifle onaisy, an' when, afther another 
quarther of an hour, the man come in an' 
sayed the supper was as cowld as charity, 
faith the Lord High Mayor he knocked him 
down wit' vexation, an' he started out to look 



276 Through the Turf Smoke 

for the rabbit. An' soon afther, when there 
was no sign of him comin' back aither, an' 
the supper got past takin' entirely, faix the 
company begun to get up their dandher wit' 
their stomachs aching seein' that most of 
them didn't cut mait for four-an'-twinty 
hours afore, as they wanted to have plinty 
of room for the gran' supper — faix their 
dandher begun to get up, an' afther they 
passed some ugly remarks not nowise com- 
plimenthary to the Lord High Mayor, who 
had now made a purty fool an' town talk o' 
them twicet over, they started off hot foot 
to look for the Lord High Mayor himself, 
till they would taich him a lesson he wouldn't 
be likely to forget. But the Lord High 
Mayor, who was runnin' the sthreets like a 
lunatic axin' afther his rabbit, got word 
of this, an' only he raiched his own house 
in time, an' locked an' barred an' bolted 
all, an' kept within doors for betther nor a 
week, he'd 'a' been a sorry man, let me tell 
you. 

But when it was all settled up again, an' 
the Lord High Mayor had shown how he 
was swindled himself, far more an' far worse 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 277 

nor them, they give him pardon, an' he got 
free once more. An' when he was free: 

"Well, be this an' be that, an' be the 
other thing," sez the Lord High Mayor, " if 
I don't make that scoundhril Jack pay for 
this," sez he, "it's not day yet. That's 
twicet the conscionless knave has robbed an' 
thricked me, but, by Jimminy! he'll not do 
it the third time. I'll ardher out me sojers," 
sez he, "an' I'll go to his house an' saize on 
him, the blaguard; an' I'll fetch him here, 
an' hang, an' dhraw, an' quarther him, for 
the addiflcation of the Dublineers — an' 
that'll be the proper way to thrait the 
wratch," sez he. 

So, ordherin' out his sojers once more, off 
again he started wit' them for Jack's house, 
detarmined to have Jack wit' him this time, 
whither or how, be hook or be crook. 

As the Lord High Mayor an' his sojers 
come along doesn't me brave Jack again eye 
them, an' right well the rascal knew their 
arrand. So puttin' his ould mother into bed, 
he filled a bladdher with bullock's blood an' 
tied it roun' his mother's neck. Then he 
sat down by the hearth just to wait till they'd 



278 Through the Turf Smoke 



come. An' he wasn't long sittin' till the 
thramp! thramp! comes up to the main road 
torst Jack's house, an' in walks me Lord 
High Mayor up the floor, far straighter and 
prouder, you'd think, than ever he was. 

"Arrah, begorra," sez Jack, sez he, run- 
nin' to him with both hands out, "but it's 
the welcome sight for me to see yer Lord 
High Mayorship, an' but it's meself is both 
plaised an' proud to see ye; for, would ye 
b'lieve it, ye were the very idantical man I 
was thinkin' about — yerself an' the Missis 
Lord High Mayor. Sure I hope an' thrust 
in Providence it's right well an' hearty she 
is, both herself an' the young Lord High 
Mayors — I hope they're all as well as I'd 
wish them; an' may the Lord in His bounties 
always keep them so. Won't yer Lord High 
Mayorship dhraw forrid this sate to the fire, 
an' sit down on it, an' take a wee hate of the 
fire, such as it is, an' it's just poor enough — 
a sort of mixed, middlin', like a man comin' 
out 0' the faver — for the thurf, thanks be 
to God for all his marcies, wasn't just as 
plentiful this year as we'd wish them. I 
thrust yez isn't anyway ill off for thurf in the 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 279 



town now — or, sure if yer Lord High Mayor- 
ship was disthressed for a grain of thurf to 
make the dhrap 0' tay for the Missis Lord 
High Mayor an* the young Lord High Mayors 
in the morning why, if you'd sen' a man out 
to me with a creel, I'd — I'd — I'd show him 
a stack where he could stale plinty." 

" Will ye, for heaven's sake," sez the Lord 
High Mayor, " stop that tongue of yours that 
goes like a hand-bell. Don't give me any 
more o' yer palaverin', for I don't want none 
of it — it's too much of it, to me own loss, 
comes me way — I'm come here, ye notorious 
scoundhril ye," sez he, "with me sojers to 
take ye off to Dublin, where I'll hang, dhraw, 
an' quarther ye, for an example," sez he, 
commencin' an' norratin' to him all happened 
to him over the head o' the rabbit. 

" Oh, well, me Lord High Mayor," sez 
Jack, " sure the divil of it is that meself 
an' me poor ould mother made the gran' mis- 
take of forgettin' to give ye the wee rod we 
used to strike it with, for none other would 
do!" 

" Come, come along," sez he, " ye bla- 
guard, an' give me no more 0' yer nadiums. 



280 Through the Turf Smoke 



Don't think ye can take me in that way, 
more. Come along," sez he, " come along." 

"Oh, well, if I must go," sez Jack, "I 
can't go away an' laive me poor sick an' help- 
less ould mother in bed there to parish of 
hunger. Betther for me do for her at once," 
sez he, takin' up a big knife, an' plungin' it 
down into the bed, pertendin' it was into his 
mother, moryah, but Jack knew well it was 
into the bladdher he put the knife, an' there, 
behould, up spurts the big sthraim of blood, 
an' more blood commenced flowin' out o' the 
bed an' over the floor, an' the ould mother 
give a groan an' stiffened out all as one she 
was dead. 

" Och, ye natarnal murdherin' villian 
ye! " sez the Lord High Mayor, sez he, when 
he seen what Jack had done — " ye natarnal 
murdherin' villain ye! ye have fixed yerself 
now anyhow — murdherin' yer poor ould 
mother. Oh, ye notorious reprobate! it's 
burned and beheaded ye'll be now, besides 
bein' hanged, dhrawn, an' quarthered," sez 
he, "for Christian daith is too good for a 
rufiin of yer sort." 

" Oh, aisy, me Lord High Mayor," sez Jack, 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 281 



" take it aisy, man. If it matters that much 
about a dying ould woman that couldn't live 
long anyhow, sure we'll fetch her back to 
life again if it gives ye any plaisement." 

" Go along," sez the Lord High Mayor, 
" ye couldn't do that." 

" Couldn't I, though? " sez Jack. " We'll 
soon see about whether I can or no." So 
climbin' up to the talc of the roof, he takes 
down a cow's horn out of it, and no sooner 
did he blow the blast, than his mother, that 
was all as one as dead, jumped up in the bed, 
as well as ever. 

" Well, that bates me! " sez the Lord High 
Mayor, when he saw this. " That's a most 
wondherful thing," sez he. " An' a most 
wondherful horn entirely." 

" Wondherful, is it? " sez Jack. " Arrah, 
good luck to yer wit, if ye were livin' with 
meself an' me ould mother here long," sez 
he, " ye wouldn't make much wondher of it. 
There isn't that day ever the sun rises that 
she doesn't displaise me somehow or other, 
for ould people, ye know, is very cantankrus, 
an' there's no livin' wit' them. So, every 
time she puts me out in me timper it works 



282 Through the Turf Smoke 



me to kill her, an' I just stick that knife in 
her, an' by an' by when I cool down an' gets 
out 0' my anger, I just take down the horn 
an' blow in it, an' then we live as happy as 
ye plaise till the nixt day. I find it very 
aisin' on me entirely to be able to kill her 
that way now an' again/' sez he. 

" Well, throgs," sez the Lord High Mayor, 
" I have an ould woman that way at home — 
the missis," sez he, " an' she has got her 
share of a tongue, an' like most women, too, 
she knows the use of it; and there's times 
that way an' I'd give a good dale to be able 
to take her life. An' moreover, nor that, 
too," sez he, " the sarvints I have got would 
brak the timper of a saint if it was made of 
wrought steel," sez he, " an' it comes over 
me that way, too, many's a time, to have one 
of their lives, an' I know it would give me 
grate aise to kill one 0' them back an' forrid, 
if I could only fetch him to life again. I 
don't care, Jack," sez he, "if I let ye off 
this time with yer life, if ye give me that 
horn," sez he. 

"Is it give ye the horn to get off?" sez 
J ack. " Arrah, conshumin' to me, man," 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 283 



sez he, " that horn is worth a ship's cargo 
of goold an/ I wouldn't like to part it on no 
account," sez he. 

But the end of it all was that after they 
had bargained an' banthered for lee an' for 
long the Lord High Mayor bought the horn 
off Jack for a hundred guineas. An' off he 
sets with the horn, himself an' the sojers, off 
for Dublin, as delighted as if he was made 
King of Irelan'. An' be me song, he was 
detarmined not to keep the horn long till 
he'd put it in use. So he went out that very 
night, an' carousin' till long by midnight, 
knowin' his wife would be waitin' up for him 
to give him a barjin with the tongue as usual. 
So when he raiches his own door an' raps at 
it, sure enough there was the Missis Lord 
High Mayor come to open the door, with a 
candle, an' as soon as she sees him she opens 
on him at once, and sez she: 

" Ay, a nice how-do-ye-do it is, comin' 
staggerin' home blin' drunk," sez she, " at 
this time of night — or this time nixt morn- 
in', I should say. A nice thing, indeed," 
sez she, " for yer poor neggar-slave of a wife 
to be waitin' up here this way, night an' 



284 Through the Turf Smoke 



nightly, on ye; a nice example it is, too, to 
the young Lord High Mayors/' sez she, " an' 
purty boys they'll be when they get up, seem' 
nothin' all the days of their lives but you 
comin' staggerin' in as drunk as a beggar 
every night when they're sound asleep in 
their wee beds," sez she. "A purty thing, 
indeed." 

"Will ye hould yer jaw, ma'am?" sez he. 

" No, nor I won't hould me jaw," sez she. 

" I warn ye it'll be betther for ye if ye do," 
sez he, " for if ye don't I'll soon find a way 
of makin' ye." 

" Jist thry that for a thrick," sez she, " ye 
dhrunkin' scavinger ye, that's good for noth- 
in' only sthravagin' the town afther night," 
sez she. 

" Oh, ye long-tongued hussy ye! " sez he, 
"it's the life of a dog I haven't with ye — 
but I'll soon cure ye," sez he, flyin' at her 
with a knife that he plunged into her, an' 
she fell over dead with a screech that wak- 
ened the whole house, an' sarvants an' all 
come runnin' down to the door to see what 
was up, or what was the matther at all. 

" Oh! " sez the first of them, when he 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 285 



come down, an' seen his misthress murdhered 
dead — " Oh! ye black murdherer," sez he, 
"what's this ye have done, at all, at all! " 

" Faithn, I'll soon let ye know that, me 
man," sez the Lord High Mayor, rushin' at 
him with the knife, an' leavin' him dead on 
the floor. 

Then the nixt come an'. 

" Oh, melia murther! " sez he, " what's 
this — what's this ye have done at all, at all, 
ye murtherin' villain, ye ? " sez he. 

" I'll show you that, too," sez the Lord 
High Mayor, rushing at him with the knife, 
an' leavin' him dead a-top of the other two. 

An' every one o' them, sarvints an' family, 
an' all, as they corned down, they went to 
open on him in the same way, with a melia 
murther! An' every sowl 0' them he left 
stone dead inside his hall-door. 

But, my sawnies, the naybours was all 
awoke with the melia murtherin', an' the 
screechin', an' the roarin' comin' out of the 
Lord High Mayor's; an' they gathered about 
the door with the polis and the sojers, an' 
they saw what was up, an' they thought the 
Lord High Mayor was gone clean cracked 



286 Through the Turf Smoke 



altogether; an' they called on the polis an' 
sojers to saize him an' carry him off to be 
hung at once, afore he'd have time to do 
more harm. But — 

" No, me good men, just hould on yez a 
bit," sez the Lord High Mayor, sez he, " an' 
I'll show yez somethin' 'ill open yer eyes," sez 
he. An' away he goes for his horn an' fetched 
it, an' then an' there commences to tell them 
all about the wondherful powers of the horn, 
an' that all he'd have to do would be to give 
one wee blast, the slightest in the worP, an' 
they'd all rise up as well as ever again. 

The crowd looked at the horn, an' then 
looked from one to the other at this. An' 
then — 

" Well, go on an' do it," sez they, " till we 
see." 

" Yes," sez he, " but any of yez would be 
mindin' to get yerselves killed first, I can 
do it right handy an' aisy with this little 
knife here, an' give yez very little pain, till 
I fetch yez all back to life again together." 

But no; they all stood back a bit from him, 
an' thanked him, an' said they'd not mind 
gettin' killed just yet till they'd see him 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 287 



fetch back the detachment he had killed, 
back to life again first. 

So seein' he couldn't persuade none of 
them he takes the horn, an' putting it to his 
mouth, he siz: 

" Xow, boys, stand back a bit an' give a 
little air, for when this crowd rises they'll 
be all dhrawin' in a big breath, an' they'll 
want all the fresh air they can." 

So back they stood, an' the Lord High 
Mayor put his mouth to the horn, an' he 
blew a blast an' then stepped back to give 
them room to rise, but the sorra a wee finger 
moved in the heap. 

"Eh?" sez he, "what's that? Did none 
0' them get up ? Maybe they didn't hear it." 

Some one in the crowd said he was of the 
same opinion that they did not hear it. 

"Ay, that's just it," sez he, "they did 
not hear it. But they'll hear this one, or I 
haven't a mouth on me," sez he, puttin' the 
horn to his lips again, an' bio win' och! a 
tearin' wild blast entirely that shook the very 
windies in the house. But conshumin' to 
the one of them gave any more sign of stir- 
rin' than if they were so many stone statieys. 



288 Through the Turf Smoke 



"What— what's this at all, at all?" sez 
he. " This is a mighty quare thing, in- 
tirely." 

An' so it was mighty quare, but, all he 
could do, an' all he could blow, if he was 
to blow the chist out o' himself, the sorra 
resaive the one o' them he could make rise, 
of course; for to be sure they were as dead 
as a nail in a coffin, an' oh! wirrasthrue! that 
was the play when he found what he had 
done, an' what that scoundhril Jack led him 
into once more. An' it was only the pity o' 
the people for him, when they heard his 
story, an' saw the rale grief he was in for 
what he had done, not mainin' no manner o' 
means of harm by it, that saved him from 
bein' strung up like a cured herrin' afore his 
own door. But they put pity on him, an' 
they let him off; an' no sooner was he off 
than he swore all sorts, high up an' low down, 
that he would never rest or get bit or sup 
in contintmint till he'd have Jack burned, 
beheaded, hung, dhrawn, an' quarthered, on 
Dublin sthreet, an' much grass he didn't let 
grow under his heels till he was on the road 
once more, himself an' his sojers, detarmined 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 289 



to have Jack this time be hook or be crook, 
surely, an' not to be put off with no more 
of his palavers or his thricks, for he got 
enough of thim. 

An', sure enough, it wasn't long till he 
lifts the latch on Jack's door, an' walks in, 
an' catches me brave Jack sittin' opposite his 
ould mother across the fire, the both o' thim 
plannin' what they'd do, or how they'd lay 
out the Lord High Mayor's guineas to the 
best advantage. But when Jack sees him 
steppin' in up he jumps, an' — 

" Cead mile failte a thousand times over! 
an' cead mile failte over again! " says Jack, 
"but it's meself's the glad man to see yer 
Lord High Mayorship again. Mother, dar- 
lin', why don't ye move yerself an' wipe a 
chair for his Lord High Mayorship to sit 
down an' take a shin-hate at our little fire. 
Troth, it's delighted I am, if ye'd know but 
all. An' how, might I ax, is the Missis Lord 
High Mayor — may the Lord in His kindness 
presarve her to ye! — an' the young " 

" Come, come, ye morodin', deludhrin' 
rascal ye! " sez the Lord High Mayor, " I 
don't want no more of yer blarney, for it's 
19 



290 Through the Turf Smoke 



too much of it, to me own loss, I got. Come 
along wit' me an' get into this sack here/' 
sez he, unrowlin' a sack from undher his arm 
that he'd fetched special to tie up poor Jack 
in, so he couldn't escape — " Come along wit' 
me an' get into this sack, for I'm not goin' 
to be done any more be yer thricks. Every 
dog has his day, an' turn about, ye know, is 
fair play. You had your thricks, an' I'm 
goin' to have a wee one 0' me own now. 
Jump in here," sez he, " for ye'll never ate 
the bread 0' corn again." 

Me poor Jack saw there was nothin' for 
it now only to obejr, so kissin' his mother 
all over, an' wishing her good-bye for ever, 
he walked into the sack, an' they tied the 
mouth o' it, an' throwin' him across a horse's 
back set off for Dublin. But there's great 
depth entirely in a bottomless barrel, an' 
Jack had a thrick or two in his head yet. 
When they raiched half-ways to Dublin, the 
day bein' hot an' the road long, the Lord 
High Mayor, when he come to a shebeen by 
the roadside said he was blissed if he'd pass 
it without thryin' the quality of the poteen, 
for that his throat was as dhry as a lime- 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 291 

burner's hat. An' the sogers was noways 
objectionable to taste a dhrop aither; so 
leavin' Jack tied up in the sack, across the 
horse's back, they went in an' had a caroose. 
As soon as me brave Jack foun' them all in 
he commences bemoanin' " Och, I'll not take 
her! I'll not take her! I'll not take her, at 
all, at all! Och, och, I'll not take her! I'll 
not take her! " When what would ye have 
of it but there comes by a great swell en- 
tirely, dhressed an' starched up as if he was 
just steppin' out of a ban-box. He comes 
by, an' hearin' Jack callin' out " I'll not take 
her! I'll not take her! " " Halloa, me good 
man," sez he, " what's that yer sayin', or who 
will ye not take ? " 

" Oh," sez Jack, sez he, " it's the Lord 
High Mayor of Dublin wit' his sojers is car- 
ryin' me off to make me marry his ouldest 
daughter. But for all her money an' all her 
family, she's not the sort 0' girl for me, an' 
I don't want her, an' I'll not take her, but 
they're goin' to marry me again' me will — 
but I'll not have her on no account — I'll not 
take her! I'll not take her! I'll not take her 
at all, at all! " says he wit' great bemoanin'. 



292 Through the Turf Smoke 



" I say, me good man," sez the swell, " will 
ye let me swap places wit' ye? " sez he. 

" I will," sez Jack, " but on one account." 

" What's that? " sez the swell. 

" As you'll be eomin' into a mortial grate 
fortune wit' her, I must get fifty poun' for 
allowin' ye to take me place," sez Jack. 

" Done," sez the grate swell. 

So, out he loosed Jack, and paid him 
down the fifty poun', and then he got in him- 
self, an' Jack tied him up tight, an' warned 
him not to spake till he'd get to Dublin. He 
tould Jack there was no fear 0' that. Then 
Jack wasn't well away till the Lord High 
Mayor an' his sojers came out 0' the shebeen, 
an' takin' the horse by the head they started 
off for Dublin, an' no sooner were they there 
nor the Lord High Mayor ordhered a grate 
bonfire to be lit. An' it was lit; and all the 
people gathered to see the rascal Jack roastin' 
— for he was to be roasted half to death first. 
Then the sack was taken by four men an' 
heaved into the middle o' the flames; an' the 
minnit it was in, the roarin', an' the screech- 
in', an' the squealin', an' the yellin', an' the 
bawlin', an' the melia murtherin' started in 



Jack and the Lord High Mayor 293 

the sack, that ye'd think there was nine div- 
ils in it, ivery one 0' them makin' more noise 
nor the other; an' the Lord High Mayor 
laughed, an' the people laughed, an' heartily 
enjoyed seein' poor Jack (as they thought) 
gettin' such a good scorchin', an' they actu- 
ally danced an' whooped roun' it with de- 
light. Whin they thought he was well 
enough roasted they had him pulled out, an* 
— och, that was the play! There the Lord 
High Mayor saw, an' all the people saw, it 
was one 0' the greatest jintlemen's sons in 
Dublin, an' a very grate swell entirely, the 
greatest in the whole town, that they had 
roasted, an' then there was the ructions! 
But to make a long story short, the swell's 
father come, an' he wanted the Lord High 
Mayor arrested, and the Lord High Mayor- 
ship to be taken from him, an' it was a very 
narrow nick with the Lord High Mayor or 
he'd 'a' lost his life over it. When it was all 
over he shook his head an' said that rascal 
Jack was too many for him entirely, and 
he'd niver go near him more, but laive him 
in paice for the remaindher of his days. An' 
Jack an' his ould mother had plinty o' 



294 Through the Turf Smoke 

money; an' when his mother died he huilt 
a castle an' married a great lady out o' Dub- 
lin, an' lived ever afther the greatest jintle- 
man in them parts, with a stable o' horses, 
an' a pack o' hounds, an' a cellar o' wine, 
the like o' which wasn't to be found again 
within the four corners of Ireland! — an' sure 
it was all only his disarts, for he had a cliver 
head, had me brave Jack.